Participant Story: Ariele Martinez

Ariele_btnI’ve learned about how much I can really handle. Moving to a brand new city nearly 400 miles from home and diving into an intentional community calls for a lot of resilience on its own.  I’ve found it all to be extremely worth it and I can definitely say that being a PULSEr has shown me how much can really be accomplished in a day.

Originally from Staten Island, New York, Ariele Martinez graduated from Bryn Mawr College, where she studied Psychology.  Ariele spent two summers studying overseas in Germany and Switzerland. Her recent endeavor with PULSE, placed Ariele at The Chuck Cooper Foundation.  Aside from general day to day operational tasks, Ariele has been able to spend time learning and brainstorming with the senior staff.

Recently, one major project for her was as Event Coordinator for the annual Awards Luncheon, where  Frank Coonelly and the Pirates at PNC Park were honored. Outside of her work at The Chuck Cooper Foundation, Ariele would spend her dream Saturday in Pittsburgh going to brunch at Pamela’s, Thrift Shopping at the South Side Goodwill, riding the Incline, picnicking with friends and wrapping up an eventful day with dancing, lots and lots of dancing.

What do you love about Pittsburgh?
I love the small-town feel combined with big-city-caliber resources and attractions that Pittsburgh offers — it’s slightly cliche but very true. In that same vein, I’m amazed by the affordability and variety of things to do in the city. Here you don’t have to choose between having fun and saving money as much as in other major cities. Another thing I love about Pittsburgh is its energy. There’s a growing feeling of renewal throughout the city and some really great projects underway.

What is the best part of the PULSE experience?
Having a group of others to rely on has been incredible. It’s easy to find someone to identify with since we share the similar experience of being young people, new to the city, and navigating the nonprofit landscape. It’s also great because we’re always finding something new to do in the city, and likewise, if you find something you want to do it’s not difficult to find other PULSErs to go with you. Having that foundation in place has been extremely beneficial.

What are some hobbies that you would like to pursue or have started pursuing?
There are many! I’ve been able to knit a lot more often now that I don’t have to worry about homework. Reading has also been great entertainment, especially in this year’s brutal winter! I’ve also begun training in preparation for the Pittsburgh Marathon. I’m running as part of one of PULSE’s relay teams this May and I’m really looking forward to it. My PULSE house is conveniently located near Highland Park so it’s been a real treat to have a nice green area nearby to train in.

What is something about Pittsburgh that has surprised you?
I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how great of a city Pittsburgh is for young professionals. Fresh out of college I’ve had the chance to get involved in major projects at work. I’ve also been able to build a strong personal and professional network in a short span of time.

How has PULSE inspired you to live/think/act differently?
PULSE has inspired me in a few ways: Living and eating simpler, stretching a dollar, and being resourceful. My housemates and I have found ways to eat and live well on our budget.
PULSE has also shown me that if I want to try something new, I should just go for it! PULSE has a potent way of immersing you in a new city and surrounding you with enthusiastic, supportive people, such that you can’t help but go forth and do the things you love.

Story by Anna Wildermuth (Pawsey) – PULSE Alumnus ’10-11, ’11-12

Read more stories about the Participant experience with PULSE. If you would like to learn more about the PULSE program, please visit our Serve with Us page.