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Pittsburgh organization selects two Earlhamites for yearlong service and leadership fellowship

October 09, 2018

Howard Ly ’18 and Anya Frederickson ’18 are serving youth and families in Pittsburgh as part of a yearlong service and leadership program.

They are among 42 recent graduates from around the nation selected to receive fellowships by the Pittsburgh Urban Leadership Service Experience (PULSE) to positively impact the work of non-profits across the city. During the 2018-19 academic year, these Fellows live together in PULSE houses in the neighborhoods where they work.

Howard Ly“Doing a year of service with an organization like PULSE just felt like a natural evolution of what I did as a Bonner Scholar,” says Ly, about Earlham’s endowed scholarship program whereby students receive a four-year scholarship while serving organizations nearby campus. 

As a PULSE Fellow, Ly offers mentorship to students on the college search and admissions process at Pittsburgh’s Crossroads Foundation.  As a first-generation college graduate, Ly remembers his own confusing path through “the maze” of college admissions and financial aid.

“I turned to books and the internet to fill in the many blanks in my knowledge, but I had no one to personally guide me through the process,” he says. “I felt a calling to meet these students and share with them the understanding of higher education I have now and ensure that they don’t feel as lost as I did at their age.”

He’s had to revisit the college admissions process and familiarize himself with college and universities around the country.

“In order to help my students make informed college decisions, I have to dig much deeper into the higher education system than I did as a high school student and find places that could fit their needs well,” he says.

Ly, a Human Development and Social Relations major, has a long-term career goal to become a counselor or therapist, and he’s exploring the various specializations.

“PULSE has brought me into contact with nonprofit professionals from organizations all over Pittsburgh, some of who are counselors and therapists themselves,” he says. “I hope to connect with them and find inspiration from their work and stories as I try to decide what kind of counselor I want to be.”

Anya FredericksonFredrickson’s placement is with the Parent Education and Advocacy Leadership Center or PEAL Center, which gives families and individuals with disabilities tools and trainings to advocate for themselves.

“I have a vested interest in this field of work because as someone with dyslexia, I have seen the challenges it presents,” she says. “I’m someone who has had access to amazing education, and I want to be part of an organization that is working to give everyone an inclusive education.”

A major in Sociology/Anthropology and minors in Art History and Museum Studies combined to create a love for museum education for Fredrickson.

“I believe inclusion is something that should be a larger focus of museum education and through my service with the PEAL Center, I hope to gain a greater understanding of inclusive education,” she says.

Both Fredrickson and Ly say PULSE’s intentional community appealed to them.

“The Earlham community is something that I really valued, and I wanted my next step to have a similar focus on fostering a community,” Fredrickson says. “PULSE’s mission of an intentional community is something that drew me to the organization.”

“I wanted to move to a bigger city like Pittsburgh after Earlham, and living in a community with other recent college graduates dedicated to service through PULSE has helped me feel at home in this city much faster than I probably would have if I came here on my own,” Ly says.

Earlhamites are drawn to work that positively impacts communities around the world. According to a recent survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, nearly eight percent of 2017 Earlham graduates participated in service programs, or about seven percent higher than the national average.

In addition to the PULSE program, Earlhamites are also active in the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, or Quaker Voluntary Service, among other service-related organizations. Current students with an interest in service and international development fieldwork can also enroll in Earlham’s Peace Corps Prep program.

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Earlham College, a national liberal arts college located in Richmond, Indiana, is a "College That Changes Lives." We expect our students to be fully present: to think rigorously, value directness and genuineness, and actively seek insights from differing perspectives. The values we practice at Earlham are rooted in centuries of Quaker tradition, but they also constitute the ideal toolkit for contemporary success. We rank 7th nationally by Princeton Review for Best Classroom Experience and 22nd by U.S. News and World Report for commitment to undergraduate teaching.

Brian Zimmerman is director of media relations at Earlham College. He can be reached at 765-983-1256 and zimmebr@earlham.edu.


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