“I’ve enjoyed having a place to belong, a place that I can call “home”. I felt supported, almost immediately, by my housemates. Living with people who are different, more adventurous has been great. I’ve been pushed to try different things.” – Emily Shank
Emily Shank spent the past four years studying psychology at Eastern Mennonite University in Virginia. She has extensive experience working with mental health programs, including facilitating group therapy sessions, providing bereavement support through a hospice program, and volunteering with an equine therapy program. During her time at EMU, Emily was active in the Psychology Club and Women’s Association. Emily also loves to bake, read mystery novels, and win Scrabble games. She is serving at Manchester Academic Charter School.
Maria Driediger: What have you enjoyed the most about living in community?
Emily Shank: I’ve enjoyed having a place to belong, a place that I can call “home”. I felt supported, almost immediately, by my housemates. Living with people who are different, more adventurous has been great. I’ve been pushed to try different things.
Maria: How has PULSE inspired you to live/think/act differently?
Emily: I’m learning to be “other focused”, to be a better listener and really hear what other people are saying and doing. I’m learning to be more spontaneous. And, I’m also learning to live simply, within a budget.
Maria: What is your favorite “family meal” recipe for the house?
Emily: Comfort food meals. I have a “comfort food list”: grilled cheese and soup, mac and cheese, tuna noodle casserole. We have fantastic cooks in the house, so I’ve been eating well.
Maria: What surprised you the most about Pittsburgh?
Emily: I’ve been surprised by all the green spaces and parks close to the house. I had the impression that people in cities were unfriendly, but that’s not the case at all. I’m able to ask strangers for help and directions.
Maria: What is the most interesting/fun adventure you’ve had in Pittsburgh?
Emily: Checking out thrift stores and other cool places around town with other people. Finding unique things to bring back to the house from around the city.
Story by PULSE Participant Maria Driediger.
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