“I’m surrounded by people whose backgrounds, skills, and experiences differ from my own and there’s opportunities for growth and valuable friendships.” -Kaitlyn Roth
Kaitlyn Roth, a native of Elk Grove Village, Illinois, completed her undergraduate degree at Juniata College with a major in Biology and Communication Advocacy. During her time in school, she was involved with the Student Government, where she served as a co-chair and advocated for students with dietary restrictions. Kaitlyn was also an SURJ chair for the Intersections Coalition, an outreach coordinator for the Unitarian Universalist Union, and a member of the African American Student Alliance. Prior to joining PULSE, Kaitlyn served as a Newman Civic Fellow, an intern with Central PA SURJ, and a NextGen Climate Pennsylvania Fellow. In her free time, Kaitlyn enjoys singing, hiking, riding her bike through nature preserves, and trying out new recipes. She is a part of the Northside cohort, and is serving at Friends of the Riverfront.
Kit Stookey: What has been the most valuable part of the PULSE experience so far?
Kaitlyn Roth: I am very fortunate to have been matched up with an incredible nonprofit partner and mentor, and I am valuing both the professional and personal relationships I’m making.
Kit: How has PULSE inspired you to live/think/act differently?
Kaitlyn: PULSE has inspired me to think about the intentional community not only in the sense that I am living in one, but that I should seek to create one when I am out in the world.
Kit: Tell me something you are learning about yourself through PULSE.
Kaitlyn: Through PULSE, I am learning that it is okay to not have a five- or ten-year plan, and that viewing my future through a passion-driven and open-minded lens is wise, valuable, and legitimate for me.
Kit: What do you enjoy most about your nonprofit partnership?
Kaitlyn: Honestly, I like that we’re an all-women staff. We work in an open-concept space and I like how we bounce our ideas off each other. We are free thinkers, and we consider the impact of our decisions with each other. Within that space my voice has value, even though I am a recent graduate with less experience in the field.
Kit: What have you enjoyed most about living in community?
Kaitlyn: There’s never a dull moment– that’s cliche, but I’m surrounded by people whose backgrounds, skills, and experiences differ from my own and there’s opportunities for growth and valuable friendships.
Kit: Describe a typical day at your nonprofit partnership.
Kaitlyn: There’s absolutely no typical day. If it’s trail season, I might be outdoors working with volunteers or stewards. I might be in the office working on a newsletter or graphic designs, and I’m getting new responsibilities every day.
Kit: What surprised you most about Pittsburgh?
Kaitlyn: How quickly it would start to feel homey. I didn’t anticipate that I would start to feel settled and grow attachment to my house or housemates or neighborhood that I’m in.
Kit: What is the best part of the PULSE experience?
Kaitlyn: It’s a choose your own adventure situation– you make it what you want it to be. I wanted the opportunity for more leadership, so I sought that out. I wanted more professional development, and I’m getting that at my nonprofit. I wanted to get to know Pittsburgh better, so I’m touring around with my mentor and my housemates. I wanted to be a better cook, so I’m working on that in my house.
Story by PULSE Fellow Kit Stookey.
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