Alumni Story: Brad Yoder

Brad Yoder is a 1994-1995 PULSE alumnus. In this interview he discusses his experiences in PULSE in regards to creating community, developing leadership skills, serving in Pittsburgh.

 

What about the PULSE program was attractive to you? Was there anything about it that surprised you?

It was a chance to move to a bigger city.

What was the best part of your PULSE experience?

Getting to know Pittsburgh, and playing more music.

What kind of work do you do now?

I tutor math, and play some music.

 

How have you stayed connected with PULSE?

I have mentored the last couple years.

 

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Alumni Story: Keith Hershberger

Keith Hershberger is a 1995-1996 PULSE alumnus. In this interview he discusses his experiences in PULSE in regards to creating community, developing leadership skills, serving in Pittsburgh.

 

What about the PULSE program was attractive to you? Was there anything about it that surprised you?

It was a safe way to try working in my field without having to worry about paying the bills.

What was the best part of your PULSE experience?

My job was fantastic!

How were you impacted by your PULSE experience?

It opened doors for me to experiences I would not have had if left to my own devices.

What kind of work do you do now?

I’m a potter.

How did PULSE prepare you for what you are doing now?

I got my job at Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild through PULSE. I worked there on and off for almost 20 years. The things I learned, the connections I made, and the confidence I found there are why I was able to move on and start my own business.

What did the PULSE experience teach you about yourself?

I had never seen myself living in a city, now here I am over 20 years later…

Any other additional thoughts about PULSE?

I would not be where I am today without PULSE. It not only gave me the opportunity, but the confidence to put myself out there.

 

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Alumni Story: John Allison

John Allison is a 2012-2013 PULSE alumnus. In this interview he discusses his experiences in PULSE in regards to creating community, developing leadership skills, serving in Pittsburgh.

 

 

What about the PULSE program was attractive to you? Was there anything about it that surprised you?

The part about the PULSE program that I found attractive was the potential to integrate my communal with my work life. In terms of surprises: community living is always a surprise!

What was the best part of your PULSE experience?

The best part of my PULSE experience was creating community (e.g. cooking) with fellow PULSErs.

How were you impacted by your PULSE experience?

PULSE helped develop my leadership and organizational skills, and opened me up to the world of nonprofits.

What kind of work do you do now?

I just finished up Seminary and am currently exploring the world of nonprofit education.

How did PULSE prepare you for what you are doing now?

My PULSE experience helped me hone a vision of how to serve one’s community.

How have you stayed connected with PULSE?

I’ve stayed in touch with some friends that I made in the program (as best I could while living out of state).

 

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Alumni Story: Sara Alvarez

Sara Alvarez is a 2012-2013 PULSE alumnus. In this interview she discusses her experiences in PULSE in regards to moving to a new city, living in community, serving in a nonprofit and growing as a leader.

 

What about the PULSE program was attractive to you? Was there anything about it that surprised you?

I loved the idea of moving to a new city and doing volunteer work while getting a built in community of friends and connections through the program.

What was the best part of your PULSE experience?

I fondly remember having a great nonprofit partnership and wonderful housemates and other PULSE fellows. I had opportunities to explore a lot of Pittsburgh and participate in a lot of fun events and activities.

What did the PULSE experience teach you about yourself?

PULSE helped me learn more independence and helped me grow up.

How were you impacted by your PULSE experience?

I always look back fondly at my time in PULSE. I really enjoyed getting to know my PULSE fellows. It felt like a great transition after college.

What kind of work do you do now?

Content Marketing Director at Everence.

How did PULSE prepare you for what you are doing now?

I wouldn’t say that PULSE prepared me directly for my job, but nonetheless it served as an enriching experience in my life.

How have you stayed connected with PULSE?

I read some of the material on social media and mailings.

 

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Alumni Story: Johnny Erevia

Johnny Erevia is a 2012-2013 PULSE alumnus. In this interview he discusses his experiences in PULSE in regards to living in the city, serving in a charter school, and cooking meals in his community.

 

What about the PULSE program was attractive to you? Was there anything about it that surprised you?

When I graduated from college, in rural northwest Ohio, I knew that I wanted an urban experience. PULSE was so attractive because it presented the opportunity to explore a vibrant city with a group of like-minded and adventurous people.

What was the best part of your PULSE experience?

The best part of my PULSE experience was exploring Pittsburgh with my fellow PULSErs. I truly got to experience a lot: outdoor concerts, banjo night, ultimate frisbee, athletic events, and the gatherings at our own Stanton house. Also, I relished in the weekly joy and challenge of cooking a meal we sat down to share as a family.

How were you impacted by your PULSE experience?

PULSE was my first extended urban experience. It was what I desired after moving to Pittsburgh from rural northwest Ohio and it didn’t disappoint. I still love being a young professional and living in the city. I like living only a few blocks from past and current PULSErs, friends I’ve had for a long time and friends I haven’t met yet.

What kind of work do you do now?

I am currently in my fourth year as a Pittsburgh Bureau of Police Officer. I work patrol in Zone 5 (the east end from Bloomfield to East Hills) and am a new Field Training Officer. I ride with probationary officers as a they work patrol for the first time and instruct/coach them along the way. I am also a member of the Special Response Team (SRT) with which I respond to mass gatherings and hazardous material incidents.

How did PULSE prepare you for what you are doing now?

My PULSE nonprofit partnership was at a charter school working as a truancy officer. In this position I routinely communicated with parents and guardians about their youth’s habitual absences. I developed truancy elimination plans and saw non-traffic citations for truancy brought before the local magistrate. This required me to interact with the population of the school and its families. I helped them find the pulse of what was causing dysfunction in their families or community and try to provide a helpful resource.

How have you stayed connected with PULSE?

I enjoy the PULSE emails and stories about past or current participants and their nonprofit partnership. I also routinely see PULSE alumni from my year and others.

 

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