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Duquesne Psychology Students Highlight Hill House History

The Hill House, in Pittsburgh's Hill District, traces its roots to two organizations from the early 1900's. Ever since then, more than 500,000 people have come and gone through the House's doors.

Now, some of these narratives will be recounted to the public by a group of Duquesne University students as part of the Hill House's 1000 Stories project.

Duquesne senior psychology majors interviewed past and present Hill House program participants who have worked with the association to overcome personal challenges. Over the course of the past semester, the students successfully compiled eight out of the projected 1,000 stories. The goal of telling these stories began in 2009 with the aim of telling 100 stories each year over 10 years.

Dr. Susan Goldberg, assistant professor at Duquesne University, said the interviews were extremely moving.

"Many people talked about terrible traumas: being beaten up at gunpoint, a number of people talked about being addicted to drugs and alcohol," said Goldberg. "Some people talked about being homeless, being without jobs, and they got all kinds of services from the Hill House that helped turn them around."

But from the interviews, Goldberg believes the House is more than just services: it's a symbol of hope.

"Many of them talked about how the time I came to the Hill House I was feeling hopeless, empty, and in great despair, and what they found from the Hill House is that the staff said, 'You can do this,'" recounted Goldberg.

The readings will occur tomorrow April 20 from 5:00 to 6:30 PM at the Hill House Kaufmann Center.

Admission is free and open to the public.