Maria Driediger, from Harrisonburg, VA, graduated from Eastern Mennonite University with a degree in Peacebuilding and Development. Maria has much experience working with and advocating for youth. She was a camp counselor at Camp Overlook in VA for five years and volunteered weekly with The Collins Center. Maria also spent a semester studying in South Africa and Lesotho. Maria loves exploring Pittsburgh and experience new adventures. You may find her out and about in Pittsburgh running, playing soccer, or listening to live music. She is serving at the Fair Housing Partnership of Greater Pittsburgh.
Emily Shank: What is the best part of the PULSE experience?
Maria Driediger: The nonprofit partnership. The Fair Housing Partnership has been a great fit for me, and I have learned so much already. Being a part of PULSE opened up this opportunity for me to get job experience in a field that I am really interested in.
Emily: Describe a typical day at your nonprofit partnership.
Maria: A big part of my job is writing up intakes for possible cases of housing discrimination. I spend the day answering hotline calls, going over cases with my supervisor, talking with Clients, and doing whatever other work needs to be done.
Emily: Tell me something you are learning about yourself through PULSE.
Maria: I’m learning a lot about self-care and about being introspective. I’ve been thinking about the balance between challenging myself in new areas and making time for activities that are life giving.
Emily: What have you enjoyed the most about living in community?
Maria: I love the traditions that start in community and finding unifying things that bring people together. Community has always been an important value to me, and I love having a built in support network in a city that is new to me.
Emily: What do you love about Pittsburgh?
Maria: It has so much character. It’s quirky and it’s cool, and there is always something to do. Plus, Pittsburgh has a good amount of green space for a city, so I can find places to bike and hike when I want to get outdoors.
Story by PULSE Participant Emily Shank.
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