Participant Story: Menna Abaye


Abaye“The most valuable part of PULSE has been the self-reflection and exploration in PULSE seminars. There is a helpful emphasis on how you need to know yourself before you can be an effective leader and community member.” – Menna Abaye


Menna Abaye, originally from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, has spent the last four years in Springfield, Ohio and graduated from Wittenberg University with dual degrees in Biology and Business Management. Among numerous other on-campus activities, Menna was heavily involved with the international community at Witt, most recently serving as the President of the American International Association (AIA).  In May 2014, Menna won the Global Social Venture Competition in Osaka, Japan.  Menna is excited to explore leadership and personal development opportunities in Pittsburgh while meeting new people and friends.  In her free time, she enjoys reading motivational books, watching documentaries, meditating and running.  She is serving the University of Pittsburgh Center for Research on Health Care.

McKenzie Sauder: What do you enjoy most about your nonprofit partnership?

Menna Abaye: I’m working on a kidney transplant fast track study. I enjoy the purpose of the study because it fuels our day to day activities. Kidney transplant evaluation is a lengthy and laborious process for kidney transplant patients, so this study looks at trying to decrease the evaluation time for patients and increase overall kidney transplant rates.

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

Menna: I am learning that I am interested in the field of research with a social focus. And I am interested in developing my research skills and pursing other research opportunities linked to community outreach.

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

Menna: The fact that almost everything we do is intentional. Our jobs, houses, seminars, and day to day interactions are all intentional. We constantly have a social focus and always think about ways we can integrate in the community. Getting to know the staff and participants of PULSE has been a rewarding experience also.

McKenzie: What have you enjoyed the most about living in community?

Menna: I have enjoyed the ongoing presence and support that I have gotten from our community. Living in community is also fun; there is always a person who invites you to go to an event or just wants to hang out.

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

Menna: PULSE has inspired me to be more aware of others’ personalities and differences in the workplace and in the community. This has helped me better navigate through different situations that would have previously startled me. It has also helped me understand that relationship building is important for an intentional community.

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

Menna: The most valuable part so far has been the self-reflection and self-exploration in the PULSE seminars. There is a helpful emphasis on how you need to know yourself before you can be an effective leader and community member.

Story by PULSE Participant McKenzie Sauder.

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: