Fellow Story: Howard Ly

“I like being able to connect with people from a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences, but who all share a passion and drive for serving their communities.” -Howard Ly

A graduate of Earlham College, Howard Ly majored in Human Development and Social Relations. He was heavily involved in community service at Earlham, including his work with the Boys and Girls Club of Albany, where he was a camp counselor. He also was a social work assistant at Jigsaw in New Zealand. Additionally, Howard served as an after-school activities assistant at Townsend Community Center, a grounds and special projects volunteer at the Grotto, an educational assistant with the Richmond Art Museum, and a community development assistant with the Habitat for Humanity of Greater Richmond. Howard’s hobbies include listening to a variety of musicians and genres, playing guitar and piano, reading, playing video games, and hiking.  He is a part of the East End cohort.

Aaron Dunmore: What has been the most valuable part of the PULSE experience so far?

Howard Ly: I like being able to connect with people from a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences, but who all share a passion and drive for serving their communities.

Aaron: How has PULSE inspired you to live/think/act differently?

Howard: Juggling all the different responsibilities of being a PULSE fellow, from service at my nonprofit partner to keeping my house running, has made me more conscious of how I’m using my time on a day-to-day basis.

Aaron: Tell me something you are learning about yourself through PULSE.

Howard: Being able to explore everything that Pittsburgh and PULSE have to offer, from landmarks to events to workshops, has made me realize how much I love learning about new things, even now that I’m no longer in school.

Aaron: What have you enjoyed most about living in community?

Howard: Even though I’m still fairly new to Pittsburgh, I already have so many people I can lean on here when I’m faced with a struggle, including my house, my cohort, my PULSE mentor, PULSE staff, and more.

Aaron: What surprised you most about Pittsburgh?

Howard:Despite being a major city, I’ve noticed that many parts of Pittsburgh maintain a strong sense of community. Many local residents I’ve met took great pride in knowing their neighborhoods intimately, and I’ve run into people I’ve met in one part of town in a completely different part of town. More than once, I’ve hopped on a bus to find another PULSE Fellow already sitting inside. It’s a smaller world here than I expected.

Aaron: What is the most interesting/fun adventure you’ve had in Pittsburgh so far?

Howard: Roaming around town during Light-Up Night when the city decorated the whole downtown area for the holidays.

Aaron: What’s your favorite “family meal” recipe for the house?

Howard: I’ve had a blast experimenting with vegetarian variants of my dad’s signature egg and sausage fried rice recipe in order to accommodate my housemate’s diets.


Story by PULSE Fellow Aaron Dunmore.

Read more Fellow Stories about their experience in PULSE. If you would like to learn more about the PULSE program, please visit our Serve with Us page.

Also, check out other Stories of Transformation: