“The resources provided by PULSE and my mentor have made my experience easier to transition into Pittsburgh.”
A graduate of Appalachian State University, Zakaria Miller majored in Communication Studies with a minor in European Studies. She was heavily involved in community service at Appalachian State, working as an Alternative Service Experience Peer Leader where she recruited undergraduates to commit to an international or a domestic service week. She also helped clean and rehabilitate trails, historic sites, and other locations impacted by hurricanes in the Virgin Islands with the Friends of Virgin Islands National Park. As an intern for the Women’s Fund of the Blue Ridge, she helped market and run events for their members. Zakaria’s hobbies include writing poetry, hiking, dancing, and scrapbooking. Zakaria is a part of the Northside cohort and serves at Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild. Zakaria was interviewed by Mary Dempsey.
Mary: How has PULSE inspired you to live/think/act differently?
Zakaria: PULSE has inspired me to pursue a career where the main priority is helping others, rather than a monetary focus. PULSE has taught me that a person doesn’t need money in order to have fun. PULSE helped me realize the importance of community through having dinner with housemates and being involved in the lives of others.
Mary: What have you enjoyed most about living in community? How have you and your housemates pushed/encouraged one another?
Zakaria: What I’ve enjoyed the most is the support. The staff members from PULSE and from my nonprofit have been tremendously helpful. The resources provided by PULSE and my mentor have made my experience easier to transition into Pittsburgh. My housemates have encouraged me to go out more into the city and be a little less introverted.
Mary: What have you enjoyed most about your nonprofit partnership?
Zakaria: I’ve enjoyed forming relationships with staff and team members. I’ve enjoyed learning how Manchester Craftsman’s Guild has made the lives of teens better. My partnership is accepting to everyone they encounter, and it’s a place where uniqueness is appreciated.
Mary: How do you like to spend your morning and evening commute?
Zakaria: I typically walk to work, and I take the bus home. While on my commute, I enjoy listening to music. Sometimes I’ll read an interesting article.
Mary: What are three words you would use to describe your PULSE year so far?
Zakaria: Adventurous. Busy. Different.
Mary: What is the most interesting/fun adventure you’ve had in Pittsburgh so far?
Zakaria: Randomly exploring neighborhoods has been fun so far. I’ve also had so many memories, that I’m not sure which one to mention…!
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: