“It’s been amazing to have this new experience where I am going into new neighborhoods and they still feel like home. It’s a feeling of “you want to be here”. People walking down the street are nice to you, and it feels like a community wherever you go. I feel like myself here.” – Casy Stelitano
A Pittsburgh native, Casy Stelitano completed her degree in Global Cultural Studies from Point Park University. During her college years, Casy was very active on campus. She served as a peer mentor, president of the Honors Student Organization, treasurer of the Global Cultural Studies Club, and was involved in the Alpha Chi Honor Society. Casy cares deeply about education and human rights issues, and she loves to play music and write poetry. She is serving at Pittsburghers for Public Transit.
Jenna Hanner: What do you enjoy most about your nonprofit partnership?
Casy Stelitano: Ironically, the part I enjoy most is the part I was most afraid of, which is community outreach and organizing. I felt that I couldn’t do it before I actually did. It has been the most fulfilling part of the experience because I get to interact with the people with whom we are doing advocacy. It has helped me break down some of my biases, and build relationships. Really, it has helped me build community within Pittsburgh. My nonprofit partnership is mostly a community of volunteers. The people who are there all really want to be there, which makes a pretty rad group of people to be around.
Jenna: What do you love about Pittsburgh?.
Casy: That’s hard to say because the city has always been my home. I’ve never really left for a long time. It’s been amazing to have this new experience where I am going into new neighborhoods and they still feel like home. It’s a feeling of “you want to be here”. People walking down the street are nice to you, and it feels like a community wherever you go. I feel like myself here.
Jenna: What have you enjoyed the most about living in community?
Casy: I really thought I was an introvert, but living with eight people has made me see that I am not as much as I thought. I love having people around all the time. The house really feels like home. When I walk in the door, I can easily shed all the layers and feel comfortable and close with everyone around me. That whole idea of living in community was very scary at first, but it feels so natural now. It feels like I couldn’t have been matched with a better group.
Jenna: How has PULSE inspired you to live/think/act differently?
Casy: I think it might be the idea of engaging intentionally in community. I didn’t think of it as a way to find fulfillment. It is such a big part of PULSE to go out into the community and build relationships. It challenges you to get out of your comfort zone, but it has been so rewarding.
Jenna: What’s your favorite family meal?
Casy: We’ve had SO many good meals! We cook in teams and all have different styles. Taylor and I have had a lot of haphazard success. When we made chocolate chip pancakes with a strawberry sauce, we just started throwing things together, and it has been my favorite meal so far.
Story by PULSE Participant Jenna Hanner.
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