“I’ve really enjoyed getting to form our own little family unit. Since we all have come into this experience together, we have learned to encourage one another in our own little ways.”
A graduate of Waynesburg University, Joanna majored in Human Services with a focus on Education. Joanna is passionate about providing better opportunities for education and general well-being to communities experiencing high child poverty. Joanna recently completed a service trip to Romania, where she served children at Caminul Felix through singing in the choir and manual labor. Joanna’s hobbies include composing music, playing the piano, sewing (costume design), and traveling. Joanna is a part of the East End cohort and serves at Tickets for Kids Charities. Joanna was interviewed by Grace Taylor.
Grace: How has PULSE inspired you to live/think/act differently?
Joanna: PULSE has helped inspire me to live simply more often. It is beneficial to people around me, because it is helpful to relate to others as well as to serve others. PULSE has helped me view the perspectives of communities around me and see their differences.
Grace: What have you enjoyed most about living in community? How have you and your housemates pushed/encouraged one another?
Joanna: I’ve really enjoyed getting to form our own little family unit. Since we all have come into this experience together, we have learned to encourage one another in our own little ways. They [my housemates] always ask about how my day has been, and we are always excited to get to know one another’s families. When I was starting out, I didn’t know a whole lot about my nonprofit. My housemates were really supportive in helping me find resources and pushed me forward when I had doubts about my abilities.
Grace: What have you enjoyed most about your nonprofit partnership?
Joanna: I have enjoyed the learning experience and supportive environment while serving at Tickets for Kids. I have also seen the impact that my nonprofit is making in children’s lives, which is often beneficial and life-altering. Going in, I was unsure of my office skills and capabilities. However, the staff has made me feel right at home, and has given me a leg up to succeed. I really enjoy being in a passion-driven environment, which is what I get to see every day of service.
Grace: What’s your favorite “family meal” recipe for the house?
Grace: What are three words you would use to describe your PULSE year so far?
Joanna: Strengthening. Joyful. Difficult.
Grace: What is the most interesting/fun adventure you’ve had in Pittsburgh so far?
Joanna: When Holly, Peter, Brett and I went to Banjo Night on the Northside, the bus we took did not go to the Northside. It was late, and to get there we had to walk thirty minutes in the dark, over the Andy Warhol Bridge. None of us had a clue where we were going and all of our phones were below 50%. It was quite an adventure.
Grace: Tell me something you are learning about yourself through PULSE.
Joanna: I am stronger than I think I am. This experience has taught me to push myself, and I am learning that I can do it. With that, I am also learning what it means to be emotionally healthy, and what that looks like for me.
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