Fellow Story: Renee Toney

“I enjoy the fun dynamic in my house- just the atmosphere and different personas in my house create a cohesive environment.”  -Renee Toney

Renee Toney, a native of Georgetown, Guyana completed her undergraduate degree at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice with a major in Law and Society and a minor in Sociology. During her time in school, she was a service provider for the Office of Accessibility and a research assistant at the Cognitive Psychology Lab. Renee was also Secretary of the International Students Association and a Team Leader for the Office of Student Transition Programs. Additionally, she served as an intern with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Office of Policy and Planning for New York State Courts, was a recipient of the Ron Moelis Fellowship, and served a peer advocate for the Urban Male Initiative with John Jay College. In her free time, Renee enjoys dancing, taking spontaneous trips, and outdoor sports.  She is a part of the Northside cohort, and is serving at The Citizen Science Lab.

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

Renee Toney: It has inspired me to be more intentional with the people around me. To be more aware of people’s feelings and surroundings and acting toward what they feel.

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

Renee: I’m learning how to take more time for myself. With so much going on, it is important for me to keep myself a priority.

Brenner: What do you enjoy most about your nonprofit partnership?

Renee: I get to be independent- I get to carry out my own projects.

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

Renee: I enjoy the fun dynamic in my house- just the atmosphere and different personas in my house create a cohesive environment.

Brenner: What surprised you most about Pittsburgh?

Renee: There is a huge lack of West Indian population.

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

Renee: I went to Light Up Night downtown. It was cool seeing the city come together for such a big event.

Brenner: What is the best part of the PULSE experience?

Renee: The group of people I get to share this one year of commitment with. It’s been fun getting to know the different people in the program.


Story by PULSE Fellow Brenner Burkholder.

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: