Participant Story: Maura Bell

“I’m learning that my identity is not wrapped in my job and that I can look at life more holistically.” – Maura Bell


Maura Bell, a native of Pittsburgh, completed her undergraduate degree with honors at Indiana University with a degree in Ballet and a minor in French. During her time in school, she was involved with the Jacobs School of Music as a Ballet instructor. She was also a member of the Hoosier Catholic Student Organization, Hutton Honors College Association, and Honors Residential Council at Indiana University.  In the time since graduating, Maura has been dancing professionally with the Saint Louis Ballet Company in Saint Louis, Missouri.  In her free time, Maura enjoys cooking and sharing meals with friends, practicing yoga, and learning to sew. She is a part of the Northside cohort, and is serving at the New Hazlett Theater.

Maryem Aslam: What has been the most valuable part of the PULSE experience so far?

Maura Bell: I’ve loved creating a home with my housemates.

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

Maura: I’m learning that my identity is not wrapped in my job and that I can look at life more holistically.

Maryem: What do you enjoy most about your nonprofit partnership?

Maura: I enjoy knowing that the work I do daily serves a mission of cultivating the arts. Because I trained and performed as a professional dancer, the arts hold a special place in my heart. I am grateful to continue my work in the arts, now in a behind the scenes capacity.

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

Maura: Living in community has provided me the opportunity to learn different perspectives. I am constantly challenged to look at life from new angles.

Maryem: Describe a typical day at your nonprofit partnership.

Maura: The theater is a very dynamic place, so each day looks different. My main focus is managing the organization’s database, tracking performance attendance and demographics, and sending donor acknowledgement letters. I am also helping with volunteer enrichment and running the box office. 

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

Maura: During orientation week, a group of us went to Squirrel Hill to spend time at Dobra Tea House. We loved reading the descriptions of the exotic teas and carving time out of a hectic week to enjoy conversation.

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

Maura: Chester Chip Cookies.

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

Maura: Being inspired by my fellow PULSErs!

Story by PULSE Participant Maryem Aslam.

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: