“I have enjoyed learning doing the everyday things with other people. I love learning from and interacting with my roommates. We have a unique type of family dynamic, which is very different from my experience growing up as an only child.” – Heather Marra
Heather Marra hales from Oak Ridge, NJ, and attended Juniata College where she earned a degree in Multicultural Social Issues. While at Juniata College, Heather studied and interned abroad in Kanifing, The Gambia conducting data entry and analysis and helping document women’s training sessions for GAMCOTRAP. At Juniata, she devoted much of her time to the Juniata College Admission Office where she served as an assistant admissions counselor interviewing and counseling prospective students on admissions processes financial planning and scholarship opportunities. In her free time, Heather enjoys hiking, cooking, making things from scratch, reading, and running. She is a part of the East End cohort, and is serving at POWER.
Ellen Conrad: How has PULSE inspired you to live/think/act differently?
Heather Marra: PULSE has inspired me to think of accommodating for everyone; making sure that everyone is included in activities and incorporated into my life besides just events. I have also been inspired to think on a budget and have gotten to enjoy finding things that are more important than spending money.
Ellen: What do you enjoy most about your nonprofit partnership?
Heather: My partnership gives me flexibility with what I want to do with my day. There are many jobs I can do, such as working at a halfway house, calling clients that were referred to our services, spending quality time with the women at the halfway house and having the opportunity to build professional and personal relationships with them.
Ellen: What have you enjoyed most about living in community?
Heather: I have enjoyed learning doing the everyday things with other people. I love learning from and interacting with my roommates. We have a unique type of family dynamic, which is very different from my experience growing up as an only child.
Ellen: What is the most interesting/fun adventure you’ve had in Pittsburgh so far?
Heather: I’ve never urban-biked before moving to Pittsburgh. I have enjoyed having the opportunity to bike in the Strip District, learn to cross scary intersections, and see different parts of the city. Pittsburgh is both a big city and small town that still has a lot of great green space.
Ellen: What is the best part of the PULSE experience so far?
Heather: Living with eight people and having family dinners. Growing up, we never had consistent family dinners apart from Christmas or Thanksgiving. It has been fun learning to accommodate for and be mindful of other people’s dietary restrictions.
Story by PULSE Participant Ellen Conrad.
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: