Kristina Pilat, a sophomore at Cabrini University, believes deeply in the power of community and solidarity. She is a Leo and Peggy Pierce Fellow at the University, where she has taken the lead in building and administering a food bank geared towards the Cabrini community. She works at the Coordinated Homeless Outreach Center in Norristown, PA, where she is putting her studies in social work to good use doing case management and client support. She is also part of Cabrini's state-wide GEAR-UP grant, tutoring young people in an underserved school district. Kristina is a great believer in Cabrini's "education of the heart," as she has worked to serve those in need while seeking the root causes of social issues.
It has always been very important to me to help give a voice to those who struggle to be heard. As a child abuse survivor, I am able to connect to those who feel powerless. I work at the Coordinated Homeless Outreach Center in Norristown, PA, doing community outreach and case management work. I help clients apply for legal and federal assistance, create resumes, apply for jobs, and search for housing. The most important part of my work is building genuine relationships. As a Pierce Fellow Program at Cabrini, I have been able to support the development of Cabrini's first-ever campus food pantry. I also work as a tutor for the Pennsylvania GEAR_UP Program, which supports underserved school districts. Not only do I spend time helping students academically, but also by motivating them and serving as a positive role model. I'm so grateful to be able to take on roles that let me challenge injustice. When trying to understand root causes of social issues, the best approach always begins with collaboration through meaningful connections.