Dan Shaffer grew up in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and attended the Juniata College where he degrees in International Studies and German. Through Juniata, he studied abroad in Marburg, Germany where he studied Political Science. While at Juniata, Dan devoted much of his time to campus programming by serving as a Senior Resident Assistant, a Study Abroad Peer Advisor, Policy Chair for Juniata’s student government, and as the Content Coordinator for Juniata’s school newspaper, The New Juniatian. Dan is an Eagle Scout and recipient of the Eagles Abroad fellowship at Juniata College. In his free time, Dan likes learning and speaking foreign languages, playing computer games, writing/editing, listening to/creating music, hanging out with friends, and hiking. He is a part of the Northside cohort, and is serving with the Hill Community Development Corporation.
Ashish Bibireddy: What do you enjoy most about your nonprofit partnership?
Dan Shaffer: I think what I enjoy the most with my partnership would have to be the small wins that the Hill CDC has. While our larger goals are usually years out from completion or are more of an intentional effort to include our mission and values into our work, the small wins make up for it by proving not only to my colleagues and I, but to the Hill District and Pittsburgh, that we are making progress.
Ashish: How has PULSE inspired you to live/think/act differently?
Dan: PULSE has inspired me to live/think/act differently by exposing me to new and different mindsets on various social justice issues. I am also constantly inspired by the other PULSE fellows and the energy they brought with them from college and the energy they still maintain here in Pittsburgh.
Ashish: What has been the most valuable part of the PULSE experience so far?
Dan: The most valuable part of the PULSE experience so far has definitely been the networking opportunities in and around Pittsburgh. It seems like everyone in the nonprofit world knows each other and that allows myself and the other PULSE fellows the opportunity to attend conferences and events that we would not be able to otherwise.
Ashish: What surprised you most about Pittsburgh?
Dan: As I mentioned earlier, the network between the nonprofits in Pittsburgh surprised me. Most of our supervisors know each other and some have even worked together before. When you throw in the mix of PULSE alumni that are still in town, the nonprofit network in Pittsburgh is huge.
Ashish: What have you enjoyed most about living in community?
Dan: I have enjoyed getting to know each PULSE fellow on a greater level than knowing that they are also participating in the same program as I am. Many programs similar to PULSE do not have the same intentional community structure and I feel like that has drastically changed my experience for the better. Rather than doing without something, for example if you run out of bread, you can literally go across the street and borrow a few slices in exchange for a dozen cookies.
Story by PULSE Participant Ashish Bibireddy.
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