Participant Story: Maryem Aslam

My favorite part of the PULSE experience has been taking the time to live in the moment.” – Maryem Aslam



Maryem Aslam grew up in Monroeville, PA, and attended Chatham University where she earned a degree in Biology, majoring in Psychology & Human Biology, while also earning a certificate in Women’s Leadership. At Chatham, she devoted much of her to working as an Ambassador for the International Studies Abroad office and US Peace Corps.  Maryem also served extensively on the Muslim Student Association board and student government. In her free time, Maryem loves going on nature hikes, walking in the park, learning to cook, baking, board games, spontaneous trips, and learning new things. She is a part of the Northside cohort, and is serving at the Women and Girls Foundation.

Maura Bell: What has been the most valuable part of the PULSE experience so far?

Maryem Aslam: Finding similarities and shared interests with my housemates at the Chester house such as Harry Potter, Parks and Rec, The Office, feminism, social justice advocacy, garlic, and chocolate.

Maura: How has PULSE inspired you to live/think/act differently?  \

Mayrem: Since I commuted to college, I’ve always lived with my family. I’ve had to adapt to a household with roommates with lifestyles different than my own.

Maura: Tell me something you are learning about yourself through PULSE.

Maryem: I am learning that it’s okay to say “no” and not be as involved as I used to be. I am learning to take time for myself.

Maura: What have you enjoyed most about living in community?

Maryem: Laughing with others and getting to know my housemates

Maura: Describe a typical day at your nonprofit partnership.

Maryem: It’s cliche, but there is not really a typical day at WGF.  Most of my tasks focus on preparing for monthly GirlGov meetings: tracking attendance, communicating with the GirlGov cohort, managing the GirlGov App, and posting on social media (follow us on Instagram @girlgov & Twitter @WgfGirlGov)! I often work on projects for WGF team members as requested.

GirlGov is WGF’s civic engagement program for high school girls. The participants learn about civics, government, women’s history, youth organizing, and leadership by building campaigns to implement policy in their communities. We check in with each committee at monthly meetings and track campaign development.

Maura: What is the most interesting/fun adventure you’ve had in Pittsburgh so far?

Maryem: One of the most interesting adventures so far has been trying to make it home after an event in the South Hilltop. A group of us cool Northside PULSErs were trying to catch a bus downtown, but we thought we had ended up missing it. Instead decided to walk across the bridge to get to the Northside flats and I just remember everyone laughing and having a good time even though we were frustrated about having missed the bus. Luckily, a bus was coming soon, according to the bus tracker, so we hung out at the stop on the end of the bridge. I think it may have been the last bus of the night, and I was most definitely in giggle hysterics as we climbed abroad and (profusely) thanked the bus driver! I guess not everyone was enjoying the adventure, but I had a fantastic time being almost stranded with my friends.

Maura: What’s your favorite “family meal” recipe for the house?

Maryem: Chester chip cookies — I would move mountains for them. Ally makes delicious mac’n’cheese (from scratch!) and Maura’s fritatta is soooo good! Katie & Christin once cooked this amazing soup (that I hope can be recreated)!

Maura: What is the best part of the PULSE experience?

Maryem: My favorite part of the PULSE experience has been taking the time to live in the moment.

Story by PULSE Participant Maura Bell.

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: