Participant Story: Sarah Schneider

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I imagined the Pittsburgh from the classic 80’s rom-com ‘Flashdance’; smokestacks and steel and hills. I was right about the hills, but this city has much more to offer than smokestacks. I think I found a real gem of a place to live right out of college.

 

Sarah Schneider loves writing. Sarah spent her undergraduate years of college at Southern Illinois University, where she was the Editor in Chief at the student newspaper, the Daily Egyptian. This past summer, Sarah moved to Pittsburgh to intern with the Pittsburgh Post Gazette and begin her new journey in the city a few months before her housemates.  Sarah is currently serving her PULSE year with 90.5 WESA.  This is Pittsburgh’s NPR affiliate station.  At WESA Sarah is a news fellow and special projects assistant. She is currently working on the Life of Learning initiative.  This project aims to discuss innovative techniques and life long learning.  If you don’t hear Sarah on the radio doing spot stories, or feature length radio pieces, you may find her coordinating community forums based on education related issues.  When asked what Sarah’s dream Saturday would be like, she said, “Waking up to one of my wonderful housemates cooking breakfast, cleaning up the house together – not as a chore, but just being together, walking the streets of Garfield taking pictures, playing board games with other PULSErs, and going to see live music.”

What do you love about Pittsburgh?
I love how accessible Pittsburgh is. It’s easy to forget I live in a city when I’m in the East End because it is so residential; but in a quick drive or bus ride, I can be downtown. The recurring statement I hear – and have completely adopted, now – is it’s a vibrant city with a small town feel.

What is the best part of the PULSE experience?
I love my placement. I am very fortunate I was able to continue in journalism during my year of PULSE. Every day is an exciting challenge in learning a different platform of storytelling. But when I’m telling people from other parts of my life about my time here, I quickly brag about the amazing people in this program and how wonderful it has been getting to know them.

What is something about Pittsburgh that has surprised you?
Prior to moving here I imagined the Pittsburgh from the classic 80’s rom-com ‘Flashdance’; smokestacks and steel and hills. I was right about the hills, but this city has much more to offer than smokestacks. I think I found a real gem of a place to live right out of college. Most people are quick to tell you the city is in a state of change and while that can have a negative stigma, I think the young innovative minds and the willingness of the local government to change makes this an exciting time to be here.

What have you learned about yourself in PULSE so far?
I’ve learned I have a passion for education policy reporting and discussing the impact our local and state government can have on education.

How has PULSE inspired you to live/think/act differently?
PULSE has put me in a position to constantly question ideas and initiate conversations on challenging topics. One example of that phenomenon is the idea of a functioning community. I never had the vocabulary or a rationalization for why community impacts every part of our lives. I’m still in the process of figuring out what that actually means, but I’m always thinking about it. I sincerely value these conversations with my housemates and fellow PULSErs.

Story by Anna Wildermuth, PULSE Alumna ’10-’11, ’11-’12.

Read more stories about the Participant experience with PULSE. If you would like to learn more about the PULSE program, please visit our Serve with Us page.