Fellow Story: Makaela Press

“There is a strong sense that we all want to help each other become the best versions of ourselves. We have created this open dialogue to keep bettering our community and space.”

A graduate of the University of Oregon, Makaela Press majored in International Studies and minored in Global Health and Legal Studies. She was heavily involved in community service at the University of Oregon. Her service work included work with the Duck Corps, where she acted as Team Lead to groups of students on weekly service projects with the Boys and Girls Club and the Youth Farm. She also served with Dia de Salud, helping to provide local families with medical services. During her study abroad experience in Jordan, Makaela studied refugee health and humanitarian action involving the Syrian refugee crisis and the spread of infectious disease. Makaela’s hobbies include making crafts, playing intramural sports, and outdoor activities. Makaela is a part of the East End cohort and serves at Hello Neighbor. Makaela was interviewed by Anna Weber.

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

Makaela: I would say PULSE has inspired me to be really considerate of my neighborhood and local community. I just think it’s been good for me to think about a more local framework, as my education was focused on global issues. PULSE brings lessons back to tangible things in my community for me and that is important!

Anna: What have you enjoyed most about living in community? How have you and your housemates pushed/encouraged one another?

Makaela: I would say that I’ve really enjoyed the sense of support that I have living in an intentional community. My housemates and I all have really crazy schedules and yet we are still considerate of each other. I come home late from work and it’s so nice to have a home-cooked meal saved for me and labeled, “gluten-free Makaela.” I would also say that I think our house has pushed each other a lot, but in really good ways. There is a strong sense that we all want to help each other become the best versions of ourselves. We have created this open dialogue to keep bettering our community and space.

Anna: What have you enjoyed most about your nonprofit partnership?

Makaela: I love my team at Hello Neighbor! I also really love getting to work one-on-one with the community that we are serving. I have had a lot of face time recently with Syrian women who bake for us, because right now we are working on a Thanksgiving cookie table. It’s a beautiful space when we meet with them, having coffee, and spending time with their children and families.

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

Makaela: Anna’s eggplant parmesan!

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

Makaela: Every weekend is something different in Pittsburgh, so I feel like my most interesting adventures are hard to pinpoint! I’m exploring new neighborhoods and loving the quirky parts of each neighborhood, from punk vegan places in the South Side to ceramics in Braddock!

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

Makaela: I’m learning to like different foods!

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:

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