“We’ve really come to enjoy the friendships we’ve developed through a dinner group of others who moved to Pittsburgh.”
Rekha Shukla has been travelling and exploring the world since she was an infant, having moved to Milwaukee shortly after her birth in India. Following her undergraduate studies in Wisconsin, she moved on to New York for graduate school, and work in international affairs with a nonprofit. She continued that work in Bangkok, Thailand, with her new husband, a journalist, and they started their family there. In 1998, the family returned to the U.S, settling in Mt. Lebanon.
Her studies, travel and work have given her a deep understanding of diverse people and cultures. And Rekha’s worldview continues to be shaped and shared through those lenses, but also through her family and community involvement. “Our family celebrates many different holidays. We’ll have a little Diwali celebration in October/November, followed by Christmas with all the trimmings. I love to cook and find myself trying to replicate my mom’s Indian dishes and many other types of food.” She and her husband are also part of a dinner club of relative newcomers, sharing meals in each other’s homes. “We’ve really come to enjoy the friendships we developed through this group.” They also host international journalists in their home on occasion.
As a consultant to nonprofits across the U.S., Rekha provides evaluations, strategic planning and grant writing services to groups that are focused on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education, public health, college readiness, and environmental issues. The flexibility of consulting work has enabled Rekha to get involved in her two sons’ school PTAs and their swim club. She also serves on the board of Outreach Teen and Family Services, a counseling resource for teens and their families, and the Mt. Lebanon Community Relations Board, for which she led a strategic planning process.
She is a regular at the Mt. Lebanon Library, which has an extensive audiobook collection, and also enjoys such arts and literary lecture series in the city as the Carnegie Library and Carnegie Museum of Art/Drue Heinz and Robert Morris Lecture Series. Rekha and her family try to carve out time for cycling along the Youghiogheny bike trail and white water rafting at Ohiopyle state park, also on the Youghiogheny River.