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Partner Story: Southwestern Pennsylvania Partnership for Aging (SWPPA)

Southwestern Pennsylvania Partnership for Aging (SWPPA) is a 27-year-old, volunteer-led organization with over 300 members who represent over one million older adults across 10 counties of Southwestern Pennsylvania. They act as a catalyst to promote policy, program and systems change that improves quality of life for all people, particularly for our oldest generations. They provide a neutral forum for collaboration, education, networking and advocacy.

Laura Poskin is the Director of Age-Friendly Greater Pittsburgh, an initiative of SWPPA. In the following interview, she speaks about the experience of partnering with PULSE.

CC: Why did your organization decide to work with PULSE?

LP: We love the kind of engaged, community-minded leadership PULSE promotes, and we really needed help getting Age-Friendly Greater Pittsburgh off the ground! We knew that PULSE could help us build capacity—in the form of a smart, passionate, nearly full-time staffer —around the work.

CC: What is the most rewarding part of working with PULSE?

LP: I love learning about all of the organizations and projects involved! It’s awesome to be in this network that’s all about building a brighter, healthier, more inclusive tomorrow for Pittsburgh.

CC: How has your partnership with PULSE impacted your organization?

LP: Our partnership with PULSE has allowed us to grow in ways we couldn’t have imagined just months ago. Age-Friendly Greater Pittsburgh, an initiative of SWPPA, is part of the World Health Organization’s international Network of Age-Friendly Communities, but it’s brand new to this area. We’re basically a start-up! PULSE has helped our small team work at maximum capacity, and connect with other organizations that care about livable communities for all ages and abilities.

CC: What do you like most about your current PULSE follow and/or other fellows you’ve worked with?

LP: Our current PULSE fellow Shayna is so fantastic. How do I even pick what I like most?! I will have to go with her sincere passion for the work. Shayna hit the ground running when she started working on Age-Friendly Greater Pittsburgh. Her studies and background fit so perfectly with our mission, which is something we learned (and were blown away by) in her interview. PULSE fellows are passionate people who truly care—about a multitude of issues. What’s cool is that through the matching process, fellows and organizations find their way to each other through that passion. We couldn’t have dreamed of a better fit. More specifics about Shayna that reveal other superhero qualities: She’s an excellent communicator, a driven self-starter and a fast learner who goes above and beyond until a project is complete.

CC: What would you tell other Pittsburgh nonprofits about PULSE?

LP: PULSE is an incredible asset to your organization and to Pittsburgh. PULSE attracts top talent from across the country—except it’s more than “talent.” It’s talent combined with passion, creativity and community mindfulness. I’d say they are our future leaders, but the truth is PULSE selects people who are already leaders. The program is an opportunity for us to learn from each other and create the Pittsburgh we want to see.

Check out more great Partner Stories.

This is part of a series of posts about the Nonprofit Partner experience with PULSE. If you would like to learn more about a Nonprofit Partnership, please visit our Partner Page.

 

Partner Story: Mid-Atlantic Mothers’ Milk Bank

Mid-Atlantic Mothers’ Milk Bank recognizes the importance of breast milk to optimize the health and well-being of all babies, especially medically vulnerable infants. When mothers’ own milk is unavailable, Mid-Atlantic Mothers’ Milk Bank provides donor human milk, which is collected and processed according to the guidelines set forth by the Human Milk Banking Association of North America. They also aim to facilitate research and education in human lactation.

Denise O’Connor is the Founder and Executive Director of Mid-Atlantic Mothers’ Milk Bank. In the following interview, she speaks about the experience of partnering with PULSE.

CC: Why did your organization decide to work with PULSE?

DO: We heard wonderful things about the program from other non-profits. The milk bank is a startup organization and PULSE seemed like an excellent way to help build capacity. We love the idea of having young adults just starting their careers learning about donor milk too.

CC: What is the most rewarding part of working with PULSE?

DO: Working with Koehler! Our PULSE Fellow is a perfect match for our organization. We have benefited greatly from her skills. She brings a fresh perspective too. Throughout her time with us we have coordinated opportunities for her to shadow clinicians and have other experiences that will benefit her as she makes career decisions.

CC: How has your partnership with PULSE impacted your organization?

DO: It has allowed us to build capacity and visibility.

CC: What do you like most about your current PULSE follow and/or other fellows you’ve worked with?

DO: Koehler is an extremely intelligent and motivated employee that quickly became an important member of our team. Her most prized skill is the ability to autonomously lead new projects- a must in a startup environment like this!

CC: What would you tell other Pittsburgh nonprofits about PULSE?

DO: Apply! You will not regret it. Wonderful program.

Check out more great Partner Stories.

This is part of a series of posts about the Nonprofit Partner experience with PULSE. If you would like to learn more about a Nonprofit Partnership, please visit our Partner Page.

 

Partner Story: American Heart Association

To improve the lives of all Americans, the American Heart Association provides public health education in a variety of ways. They are the nation’s leader in CPR education training. They help people understand the importance of healthy lifestyle choices.  They also educate lawmakers, policymakers and the public as they advocate for changes to protect and improve the health of our communities.

Jesabel Rivera-Guerra is the Community Health Director of the Pittsburgh Metro office. In the following interview, she speaks about the experience of partnering with PULSE.

CC: Why did your organization decide to work with PULSE?

JRG: We were not only looking for someone to complete the tasks, but a leader who can understand the community and to be able to build rapport with the people. We trusted PULSE to provide this leader and we were not disappointed!

CC: What is the most rewarding part of working with PULSE?

JRG: For ambitious goals and an ambitious vision, you need to have the right people in place to make the meaningful impact in the community. It is rewarding to see that we are achieving that ambitious and in the process, we are building meaningful relationships.

CC: How has your partnership with PULSE impacted your organization?

JRG: Partnership with PULSE have made things possible and achievable! PULSE fellows come in with the expertise, with their passion, but also with their connections and collective impact approach. This sentiment PULSE brings is contagious and helps build a culture of collaboration internally and externally.

CC: What do you like most about your current PULSE follow and/or other fellows you’ve worked with?

JRG: Ashish and I have very clear (and high) expectations for each other. It has been a huge help the fact that he is committed to the mission and the organization goals are his goals. But most importantly, I like the most that he understands social determinants of health and he uses that to empower participants, demand more accessible processes and develop meaningful partnerships.

CC: What would you tell other Pittsburgh nonprofits about PULSE?

JRG: PULSE has been the best thing that could ever happen to our project and organization. Don’t be afraid of taking that big goal or program and decide to address it by partnering with PULSE. They are truly a factory of agents of change!

Check out more great Partner Stories.

This is part of a series of posts about the Nonprofit Partner experience with PULSE. If you would like to learn more about a Nonprofit Partnership, please visit our Partner Page.

 

Partner Story: PUMP

PUMP’s mission is to make Pittsburgh the most dynamic and diverse place by engaging, educating, and mobilizing all young people to create change in our community. Each year, they serve nearly 30,000 individuals, primarily under the age of 40, through their programming.

 

Lindsay Cashman is the Advocacy +  Public Policy Director of PUMP.. In the following interview, she speaks about the experience of partnering with PULSE.

CC: Why did your organization decide to work with PULSE?

LC: We chose to work with PULSE because of the reputation of providing high-quality Fellows who get results when working with their nonprofit partner. We are especially excited about the intentional community that supports and elevates emerging leaders. The program’s goals of providing genuine leadership opportunities for young people to make change aligns with our organization’s values and agenda.

CC: What is the most rewarding part of working with PULSE?

LC: Watching our PULSE Fellow grow and flourish as she strengthens her voice and makes a positive impact on the Pittsburgh region is most rewarding for us.

CC: How has your partnership with PULSE impacted your organization?

LC: The increased organizational capacity we receive from our PULSE Fellow has dramatically increased our communication and information-sharing with our members and constituents, allowing us to have an even bigger impact on key regional issues. The additional perspectives from the PULSE Fellow in our office and the Fellows placed with other nonprofit partners bring fresh ideas and opportunities to the work we do every day. The fact that PULSE Fellows are part of our target demographic of young people makes their input especially relevant and all the more valuable. We are hopeful that many of the Fellows are able to find longer-term employment in the region as they are becoming such an important part of the fabric of this work.

CC: What do you like most about your current PULSE follow and/or other fellows you’ve worked with?

LC: Katie is so passionate and dedicated to the issue of equity, the center of our advocacy and public policy agenda, that we know we can always count on her to do an excellent job advocating for the Pittsburgh region our members want to see. Katie is also an excellent writer, which is extremely valuable for our communication with our constituents, partners, and the general public. The other PULSE Fellows who have volunteered with or worked alongside us have also been very professional and passionate.

CC: What would you tell other Pittsburgh nonprofits about PULSE?

LC: It is an excellent program and opportunity to connect with brilliant young people during an important time in their career development.

Check out more great Partner Stories.

This is part of a series of posts about the Nonprofit Partner experience with PULSE. If you would like to learn more about a Nonprofit Partnership, please visit our Partner Page.

 

Partner Story: First Presbyterian Church Of Pittsburgh

First Presbyterian Church of Pitsburgh’s is committed transforming Pittsburgh by awakening a new generation to life in Christ. Through the Downtown Ministerium’s Walk-In Ministry, they help those in need acquire food, clothing and other necessities, partnering with both local and international organizations to spread the Gospel.

 

Dan Turis is the Minister of Outreach of First Presbyterian. In the following interview, she speaks about the experience of partnering with PULSE.

CC: Why did your organization decide to work with PULSE?

DT: The vision of PULSE and the opportunity to invest in young adults while advancing our own mission was attractive.

CC: What is the most rewarding part of working with PULSE?

DT: The fact that we are getting a thoughtful fellow who is being invested in ways that make them better people.

CC: How has your partnership with PULSE impacted your organization?

DT: Ally has changed our church. The culture was in a way where the same small group of people does the same service. Ally has expanded our field of vision of who could and should serve in our church.

CC: What do you like most about your current PULSE follow and/or other fellows you’ve worked with?

DT: Ally has been a wonderful person willing to work hard to do whatever it takes to do the right things. Her thoughtful and contagious attitude brightens the volunteers’ experience.

CC: What would you tell other Pittsburgh nonprofits about PULSE?

DT: PULSE provides organizations with a quality person who is willing and able to help your organization immediately.

Check out more great Partner Stories.

This is part of a series of posts about the Nonprofit Partner experience with PULSE. If you would like to learn more about a Nonprofit Partnership, please visit our Partner Page.

 

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