Participant Story: Alaa Mohamed


“I am learning how to burst the bubble of academia and enter the real world and the flood of emotions that comes with having to deal with that transition. ” – Alaa Mohamed


Alaa Mohamed comes to Pittsburgh by way of Mechanicsburg Pennsylvania. Alaa received her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and a Bachelor of Philosophy in Global Studies from the University of Pittsburgh. She served as Co-Founder and Co-President for Project Potter, a philanthropic service organization that uses youth passion for the Harry Potter series to encourage college students’ investment in their local community via fundraising and volunteering. Alaa also wrote her thesis on female genital mutilation in Egypt for her Bachelor of Philosophy degree and had the opportunity to travel to Egypt, interview Egyptian women, and write and defend her thesis. In her down time, Alaa enjoys reading, binge-watching TV, and sleeping. She is serving at The Global Switchboard.

Shruti Revankar: How has PULSE inspired you to live/act/think diffently?

Alaa Mohamed: I think PULSE has really ingrained in me the importance of service in every aspect of my life. I’m learning to give and take in home in order to make others comfortable. I’m learning to live on a budget and the reality of that for myself and for a lot of people in this country and world. I really appreciate that awareness that comes through PULSE.

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

Alaa: I am learning how to burst the bubble of academia and enter the real world and the flood of emotions that comes with having to deal with that transition.

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

Alaa: I enjoy the fact that we are a co-working space. It enables me to get to know all the different organizations inside the space as well as people who come for meetings with those organizations. I get exposure to a new person almost every single day.

Shruti: What surprised you most about Pittsburgh?

Alaa: Well, I went to the University of Pittsburgh for undergrad so I was familiar with the city. However, I was pleasantly surprised to see how interconnected the nonprofit world in Pittsburgh is–the city has a “small town” feel. Everyone seems to know each other and seems to have worked with each other in some capacity–I love it!

Shruti: What is your favorite ‘family meal” recipe for the hosue?

Alaa: Anything chicken because that’s all we eat at jackson house. Haha.

Story by PULSE Participant Shruti Revankar.

Read more Participant Stories from Fellows 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: