When I graduated from Susquehanna University in May, I knew I was ending one chapter of my life and beginning a new journey as a recent college graduate. While it was difficult leaving my Susquehanna community, family, and friends, I decided to join the PULSE program in the mighty city of Pittsburgh, PA.
PULSE stands for Pittsburgh Urban Leadership and Service Experience. The program cultivates a community of young servant leaders to transform Pittsburgh. They invite recent college graduates (like myself) to partner with local nonprofits for a year of service and leadership.
Since I found out about the program back in March, it really stood out to me as a potential post-graduate opportunity. To be honest, I was considering several other opportunities at that time, too. However, none of them really resonated with me as much as the PULSE program did. Through this program, I will be able to serve, live, and grow in a city of great opportunity. I volunteered frequently in my time at Susquehanna, through organizations like Circle K, Habitat for Humanity, and Alpha Phi Omega, and I served as the Deacon of Service during my senior year. I really enjoyed being able to give back to individuals in the community, as my own community helped me through some of the hardest years back when I was in high school, as well as throughout college. I was at risk of being homeless myself - we lost our house, our car, our five pets... My mom, my sisters, and I had to walk most places, especially when it came time to get groceries and household necessities. Eventually we all had to live in different homes, as we could no longer afford to stay together.
Given all of this, I wanted to take some time away from my academics in order to lead and assist others through an intentional year of service. I will be paired with a nonprofit organization based on my interests, skills, and experiences, so I am very excited to soon find out what that organization will be and to see what kind of impact I will make on others!
I am also really looking forward to engaging in the possibility of the city, building strong relationships, exploring and developing my faith, and growing as an individual. The program is structured in such a way that I believe I will grow to be a more focused college graduate, a more passionate servant to others, and a better communicator. The “listen, learn, love, lead” framework and my direct service to others through the PULSE program will help me as I continue to plan for a future as a researcher and practitioner in the field of clinical psychology.
Part of my first task as a PULSE participant is to assemble a team of people who will support me in my work. I realize that I can’t do this work alone, that I need others to come alongside me and partner with me. Would you please consider supporting me in this work? I am in the process of raising a minimum of $2500 to cover expenses for this year of service and leadership. Your support will help impact the lives of Pittsburgh’s most vulnerable. Any amount, no matter how small or large, will go a long way towards helping me meet this goal!
You can also give online at www.pulsepittsburgh.org/support at any time, if you would prefer. (You could mention in the “special instructions” section that you are donating in support of me - that way your contribution counts towards my goal!) Thank you so much for your investment in my life and in the life of PULSE!!
You are more than welcome to reach out to me regarding any questions you might have about my progress in and experience with PULSE! I would love to hear from you and write back!
2019-20 PULSE Fellow