“A lot of the personal growth that I have experienced with PULSE has come through living in community with new people. In particular, I’ve learned that it takes everyone working together to make a house function.” – Earl Pearson
A graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, Earl Pearson earned his Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies and minored in Political Science. During college, Earl was involved with Pittsburghers for Public Transit as a research intern, a capacity which allowed him to learn about fare policy, as well as the links between transit access, affordable housing, and food deserts. He also interned Bike Pittsburgh, where he was involved with the organization’s membership and online presence. Earl also participated in the work of Pitt’s chapter of FeelGood, an organization that aims to end extreme poverty and hunger by 2030 and currently serves as Vice Chair on the national organization’s Board of Directors. He enjoys exploring Pittsburgh, cooking new things, and hanging out with Gracie, his Irish Setter puppy. He is serving at the Design Center.
Ben Hochstetler: Tell me something you are learning about yourself through PULSE.
Earl Pearson: A lot of the personal growth that I have experienced with PULSE has come through living in community with new people. In particular, I’ve learned that it takes everyone working together to make a house function, especially when it comes to chores. So for me, I’ve started to empathize with my parents when they nag me about doing things around home!
Ben: What have you enjoyed most about your nonprofit partnership?
Earl: I’ve enjoyed the diversity in projects, places, and people at work. For me, I hate being stuck in a routine, so I am thankful for being able to have a variety of things to do. I also enjoy working with different architects and learning from them. I’m interested in how they come up with various solutions to make spaces more visually appealing and inviting.
Ben: What is the most interesting/fun adventure you’ve had in Pittsburgh so far?
Earl: The most interesting and fun adventure that I’ve had in PULSE was wandering around Mt. Washington for the ABCD (Asset Based Community Development) seminar. Despite being a Pittsburgh native, I haven’t been to Mt. Washington outside of Chatham Village and Grandview Avenue. Seeing new parts of the neighborhood was truly fascinating.
Ben: What surprised you most about Pittsburgh?
Earl: I was surprised by how distinctive the neighborhoods are in the North Side. Having grown up in Munhall and graduated from Pitt, I’m pretty familiar with the East End and the South Hills, but not the North Side. Before, I had known the area as “the North Side”–as a collective group rather than as 18 individual neighborhoods. It’s been very surprising and informative for me to be living on the North Side and experience the diversity of each individual community.
Ben: What’s your favorite “family meal” recipe for the house?
Earl: One of my favorite meals that we did as a house was “clean out the fridge chili”, which included butternut squash, ginger, zucchini, among other assorted fridge leftovers. It actually turned out to be pretty good.
Story by PULSE Participant Ben Hochstetler.
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: