Fellow Story: Peter Carter

“I chose to transition from working in engineering to PULSE so that I could be more active in the community and be able to help people.”

A graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, Peter Carter majored in Chemical Engineering and minored in Chemistry. Prior to joining PULSE, he worked as a chemist with the PPG Coatings Innovation Center, collaborating with interdisciplinary teams on capital projects. Peter also co-founded pHresh, a startup business with the goal of improving sanitation in private athletic facilities. Peter has served his community through volunteering with the Carnegie Science Center, the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, and Pittsburgh Cares. In his free time, Peter enjoys cooking, reading, exercising, and exploring local cuisine. Peter is a part of the East End cohort and serves at Idea Foundry. Peter was interviewed by Sierra Bienz.

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

Peter: I’d say I now see community assets and networks. Before PULSE, when I saw a community or neighborhood, I would see the things that were there, but I wouldn’t see them as assets. Now I think about the network and resources that underlie a community, and with that, networking: being more conscious of the roles people have, and how they use those roles to help drive change in their community.

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

Peter: I think what I’ve enjoyed most about it has been the food! I’ve eaten a regular diet of chicken and rice for a couple years now, so I’ve enjoyed house dinners of vegetarian and gluten free options. We always encourage each other. We’re comfortable sharing challenges, especially as we come closer. We always come together. I’ve lived with roommates before, but not with the accountability that I have now. It’s more close-knit in PULSE, which I enjoy.

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

Peter: I chose to transition from working in engineering to PULSE so that I could be more active in the community, and be able to help people. Previously, I couldn’t see the impact of my work, and so it was really important to me to find a workplace whose values aligned with my own. My role has been to promote minority-led small business owners, and all of my nonprofit’s resources go toward start-up and small business development in Pittsburgh. It’s been an interesting application of my background and skills, and my passion for serving.

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

Peter: We do once-weekly burrito bowls, and I really like those. They’re filling, they’re tasty, and they’re well-seasoned.

Sierra: How do you like to spend your mornings?

Peter: In the morning, I like to make breakfast — 2 eggs, toast, and oatmeal — and then eat it at home before going to service.

Sierra: What are three words you would use to describe your PULSE year so far?

Peter: Challenging, rewarding, fun.

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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