What I liked
PULSE (Pittsburgh Urban Leadership Service Experience) cultivates a community of young servant leaders dedicated to improving the lives of people in Pittsburgh. They invite recent, college graduates to partner with local nonprofits for a year of service and leadership. I was drawn to PULSE because I wanted to invest in a city that holds so much history for my family and friends, live in community with recent graduates, and serve for a non-profit organization. I spent the 2018-2019 year learning and growing a tremendous amount in my first steps toward adulthood. Through my work and responsibility in PULSE , I developed the skills and knowledge to be a successful leader, advocated for social change, and engaged with a diverse community. This type of work encouraged me to pursue interests and challenge myself beyond my comfort zone. I learned about injustices that surround the world and our community and I cemented my interest in aiding the homeless population.
I served for the First Presbyterian Church of Pittsburgh as their Volunteer Coordinator. The mission of the church works to feed, clothe, and build relationships with the homeless and needy throughout the city of Pittsburgh. The church participates in various sorts of outreach events, but something that become very near and dear to my heart was their Tuesday night dinners. Every Tuesday night, the First Presbyterian Church of Pittsburgh and Outreached Arms partner together to serve a meal to about 100+ of our homeless friends and guests. These Tuesday night dinners proved to be a wonderful way to meet new people in the area and build relationships with those who are hurting and/or suffering from drugs, alcohol, and other serious illnesses. All in all, I am thankful that my service placement and the PULSE Fellowship have taught me the importance of advocating for myself and what I think, through writing and outspoken communication. My family members, friends, roommates, and fellow ‘fellows’ have taught me how much showing up with a positive attitude will make a difference at the end of each day. Life is more than just giving, it’s about learning and growing. PULSE taught me that those that come into your life for a moment are equally important in forming who you are and what you want to be moving forward. To me, a service placement isn’t only about serving to those in need. It’s also about standing alongside these people so you can create and build relationships, provide, and then receive in return.