Cathy Blanchard’s heart is in helping youth achieve their fullest potential, and she has devoted time and energy to mentoring and training youth. From tutoring reading and math programs to teaching young people essential skills and abilities, she sought to ignite determination and self confidence so they take ownership of their future. Most recently Ms. Blanchard functioned as Entrepreneuring Youth‘s chief program director, leading organization-wide initiatives to strengthen the youth entrepreneurship program’s impact and growth. Ms. Blanchard has extensive experience as a volunteer with community organizations and as an executive in the insurance industry. Throughout her insurance career she is credited with leading numerous business units to greater profitability by increasing customer value and team efficiency. Ms. Blanchard earned a B.S. in Accounting from Geneva College and a Masters in Library Science from the University of Pittsburgh. Through her career experiences she has developed a proficiency with operations management and administrative effectiveness. She is looking forward to contributing to the success of the youth as they explore, discover and engage in serving the Pittsburgh communities.
Chris Cooke is the Executive Director of PULSE. During the past 15 years, the California native has worked in Pittsburgh in a number of nonprofit roles from teaching and training to fundraising and program development. Chris loves the creative energy of young adults and is excited to see young professionals explore the possibility of this city through PULSE. Chris lives with his wife,daughter and son in the East Liberty neighborhood of Pittsburgh.
East End Program Coordinator
Amanda Duncan discovered her passion for servant leadership in 2003 when she joined AmeriCorps with the Jumpstart Pittsburgh program. She became a site manager with that organization after graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 2006 with a B.S. in Psychology and Italian. She recruited, trained, mentored, and coached AmeriCorps members to mentor low-income preschool children in the city of Pittsburgh for the past 7 years. In April 2014, Amanda received her Masters in Public Policy and Management from the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. In her free time, Amanda loves exploring Pittsburgh’s offerings with her husband and daughter; hiking the trails in Frick Park, Saturday morning shopping in the Strip, or discovering a delicious new restaurant in the East End. Amanda loves working with the PULSErs to create positive change in Pittsburgh and energize the city with youth, creativity, and talent.
Recruiting Associate (10 hrs/week)
Joel Garceau moved to Pittsburgh to study International Development at University of Pittsburgh. Originally from Sacramento, CA, he received his B.A in Political Science International Relations from UC Santa Barbara. Following his undergraduate studies, Joel took his passion for community development and joined the Peace Corps for two consecutive services in China and Thailand serving as an Education and Community Service volunteer from 2010-12 and 2013-15. Joel loves living and studying in Pittsburgh and was attracted to PULSE because of it’s mission of community service and youth engagement
Outreach and Event Associate (5 hrs/week)
Perm Longia moved to Pittsburgh from Mechanicsburg, PA, to study Neuroscience and Philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh. He was very involved on campus at Pitt, serving as the president of the South Asian Student Association, mentoring with Big Brothers Big Sisters, volunteering in the Hospital Elderly Life Program at UPMC, and earning multiple awards for commitment to diversity, outstanding achievement, and more. Permveer loves serving in a Pittsburgh nonprofit and living in community with other PULSE fellows. He is serving as a Second Year Fellow at the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh. In addition, Perm coordinates aspects of PULSE’s outreach and event efforts, including neighborhood and community outreach, special projects and events.
Jonnett Maurer launched her passion for service when she joined the Peace Corps upon graduation from Wittenberg University in 2001 with a BA in French. Originally from Vermilion, Ohio, Jonnett served for two years as a Community Health and AIDS Volunteer in Togo, West Africa. Upon returning to the States, she continued to explore her interests in the non-profit sector, working as a Volunteer Program Manager for Hopelink, a nonprofit serving low-income and homeless families in Seattle, WA. A move to Memphis, TN prompted her to work for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, where she contributed to developing and managing corporate partnerships. Most recently, Jonnett was responsible for Peace Corps recruitment in Western PA, actively recruiting, assessing, and recommending future volunteers for service. Jonnett loves contributing her skills and passions to PULSE’s engaging mission.
North Side Program Coordinator
Wayne Younger has worked in non-profit leadership in the Pittsburgh area for over 20 years. After studying Secondary Education and History at Asbury University, Wayne returned to Pittsburgh and began a career in the social services. He and his wife Leeann are the co-founders and pastors of Cityview Covenant Church in the Spring Garden neighborhood of the Northside of Pittsburgh. Wayne, Leeann, and their three children call the Northside neighborhood of East Allegheny home. Wayne was drawn to PULSE by the opportunity to shape future leaders and impact the city of Pittsburgh.