From Vegas to Pittsburgh & London.. on Zoom [Haller Blog 1]

Hello! My name is Matthew Parungao. I’m an incoming freshman at Pitt, moving all the way from Las Vegas, Nevada. It’s a huge change and I am very excited that I’ve already started my undergraduate studies virtually through the Haller Global Honors Fellowship.

I graduated earlier this year from Canyon Springs High School, where I was a student in the Leadership & Law Preparatory Academy and majored in Global Leadership. I always knew that I wanted to study abroad in college and while I may still be in my hometown in my bedroom, I’ve found on my first day that this virtual fellowship in “London” has still been a unique experience that has already helped me develop my global perspective and teamwork skills.

We are working with a non-profit based in London called Southwark Pensioner’s Centre, run by older people for older people. They are dedicated to supporting persons aged 50+ and older in leading healthier and more active lives in their communities. The 12 of us fellows have split into three separate consulting teams, and I am fulfilling the presenter role on the Social Media and Marketing Development team. The four of us are working together with the centre to develop a specific and actionable plan to broaden their reach and membership so that they can continue fulfilling their social mission. As presenter, I am focusing on making sure all of our ideas and goals are put together in a well-organized and presentable format so that it can all be well communicated.

When I was invited to participate in the Haller Fellowship as a Pitt Business Honors student, I was shocked that an opportunity like this existed so early in my college career and I thought if I have this opportunity now, I can’t wait to see what further exciting opportunities await for me at Pitt. Being an out-of-state first generation college student, I was very scared and am still scared for the transition to college and I can already tell that this fellowship, in its two-week timeframe, will help me tremendously in acclimating to college academics and getting to know some of my other classmates that I know will become a part of my support system and network at Pitt.