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.


Serve.Live.Run. For Pulse in the Pittsburgh Marathon Sunday May 6th


Serve. Live. Run. For Pulse

Join us to raise awareness and support in the Pittsburgh Marathon, Sunday, May 6th, 2018.  We are currently looking for marathoners, half-marathoners and relay marathon runners to join the “PULSE Team”. If you would like “Serve. Live. Run. for PULSE” in 2018 please fill out our INTEREST FORM.

JOIN THE TEAM!  Runners who agree to run for PULSE are encouraged to set a minimum fundraising goal:

  • Relay Team Members:  Raise a minimum of $200 for PULSE (minimum $1000/team)
  • Half Marathon: Raise a minimum of $300
  • Full Marathon:  Raise a minimum of $400


In return, runners will receive:

  • A PULSE Marathon Shirt
  • Invitation to our Spaghetti Dinner on Saturday, May 5, 2018
  • Invitation to our Cool Down Party following the Marathon on Sunday, May 6, 2018
  • A personalized fundraising page on our Crowdrise page
  • Templates to use on social media and e-mail
  • Fundraising Tips
  • Training guides & options to train with other PULSE runners

Individual runners who raise $350 for PULSE receive all of the above plus a PULSE Marathon runner’s hat & water bottle.

2018 Runners:

Maryem Aslam
Alex Auyeung
Alexa Bartel
Maura Bell
Bernie Good
Mia Good
Nathan Good
David Hogan
KeAndra Hollis
Ryan Johnson-Evers
Jaclyn Kuyers
Cecilia Lapp Stoltzfus
John Lowe
Heather Marra
Mark Medrano
Joel Norman
Katie Robb Sewell
Justice TenEyck
Emily Vogt


Registering with PULSE

Half-Marathon & Marathon Runners

Relay Runners

  • Fill out The PULSE Marathon Registry Form.
  • Send a check for $60.00 to PULSE at 5615 Stanton Ave. Pittsburgh, PA 15206
  • Once we have received your check, PULSE Staff will complete your registration and send you directions for joining your relay team.
  • The PULSE Staff will then contact you to get you started with your fundraising kit!


Pasta on the Patio

Join us for Pasta on the Patio, Saturday, May 5th from 5-7pm at the PULSE Stanton House (5615 Stanton Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15206). Free to attend.

Post Race Cool-Down BBQ

Stop by the Stanton House (5615 Stanton Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15206) from 12-3pm after the race on May 6th for burgers, dogs, and lawn games as we celebrate our team members. Free to attend. Guests welcome.

Marathon Training Plan
Half-Marathon Training Plan
Relay Training Plan

Questions, please email

Support a Runner


Also, check out our Crowdrise page.

2018 Schedule of Events

Saturday, May 5th – Pasta Dinner – Stanton House – 5pm
Sunday, May 6th – Marathon & Cheer Station
Sunday, May 6th – Cool Down – BBQ & Refreshments – Stanton House – 12pm


Join us at our cheering section for coffee and donuts:

Northside: Meet at the corner of Middle & East Ohio Streets at 8am

East End: Meet at the corner of Stanton Avenue and Negley Avenue at 9am




PULSE is Hiring! – Program Coordinator. Apply Today!



PULSE (Pittsburgh Urban Leadership Service Experience) seeks a high-energy individual able to coordinate the PULSE program and help develop a small-sized nonprofit organization as it grows. This position is a unique opportunity to play a vital role in a dynamic, vibrant non-profit with a track record of success, proven impact model, strong mission, staff and board.

The Program Coordinator reports to the Executive Director of PULSE and is responsible for the organization’s consistent, high-quality execution of its program.

The Program Coordinator coordinates all aspects of the PULSE program, including creating activities that both develop the fellow and serve the community.

More information, including the job description can be found at:

If you or anyone you know is interested, please read the  job description and send a cover letter and resume to by April 29, 2018.

Participant Story: Dan Shaffer

“I am also constantly inspired by the other PULSE fellows and the energy they brought with them from college and the energy they still maintain here in Pittsburgh.” – Dan Shaffer

Dan Shaffer grew up in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and attended the Juniata College where he degrees in International Studies and German. Through Juniata, he studied abroad in Marburg, Germany  where he studied Political Science.  While at Juniata, Dan devoted much of his time to campus programming by serving as a Senior Resident Assistant, a Study Abroad Peer Advisor, Policy Chair for Juniata’s student government, and as the Content Coordinator for Juniata’s school newspaper, The New Juniatian.  Dan is an Eagle Scout and recipient of the Eagles Abroad fellowship at Juniata College.  In his free time, Dan  likes learning and speaking foreign languages, playing computer games, writing/editing, listening to/creating music, hanging out with friends, and hiking. He is a part of the Northside cohort, and is serving with the Hill Community Development Corporation.

Ashish Bibireddy: What do you enjoy most about your nonprofit partnership?

Dan Shaffer:  I think what I enjoy the most with my partnership would have to be the small wins that the Hill CDC has. While our larger goals are usually years out from completion or are more of an intentional effort to include our mission and values into our work, the small wins make up for it by proving not only to my colleagues and I, but to the Hill District and Pittsburgh, that we are making progress.

Ashish: How has PULSE inspired you to live/think/act differently?

Dan: PULSE has inspired me to live/think/act differently by exposing me to new and different mindsets on various social justice issues. I am also constantly inspired by the other PULSE fellows and the energy they brought with them from college and the energy they still maintain here in Pittsburgh.

Ashish: What has been the most valuable part of the PULSE experience so far?

Dan: The most valuable part of the PULSE experience so far has definitely been the networking opportunities in and around Pittsburgh. It seems like everyone in the nonprofit world knows each other and that allows myself and the other PULSE fellows the opportunity to attend conferences and events that we would not be able to otherwise.

Ashish: What surprised you most about Pittsburgh?

Dan: As I mentioned earlier, the network between the nonprofits in Pittsburgh surprised me. Most of our supervisors know each other and some have even worked together before. When you throw in the mix of PULSE alumni that are still in town, the nonprofit network in Pittsburgh is huge.

Ashish: What have you enjoyed most about living in community?

Dan: I have enjoyed getting to know each PULSE fellow on a greater level than knowing that they are also participating in the same program as I am. Many programs similar to PULSE do not have the same intentional community structure and I feel like that has drastically changed my experience for the better. Rather than doing without something, for example if you run out of bread, you can literally go across the street and borrow a few slices in exchange for a dozen cookies.



Story by PULSE Participant Ashish Bibireddy.

Read more Participant Stories from Fellows about their experience in PULSE. If you would like to learn more about the PULSE program, please visit our Serve with Us page.

Also, check out other Stories of Transformation:

PULSE Nonprofit Partner Info Session May 3rd


Nonprofit professionals:  Please join us for breakfast, networking, an overview of PULSE and the specifics of a PULSE nonprofit partnership.

On 5/3/18 from 9-10am, PULSE will be having another prospective nonprofit partner info session at Alloy26. To attend this breakfast and info session, please RSVP

If you have any questions about a partnership with PULSE, please contact Amanda Duncan at or 412-361-0124.

PULSE fellows serve eleven months from the beginning of September to the beginning of August, 35 hours/week, building capacity, tackling large scale projects and helping your organization succeed.

For the past 23 years, PULSE has invited about 250 talented university graduates to partner with over 125 Pittsburgh nonprofits, contributing some 400,000 hours of service to the city and its residents.





Pittsburgh Urban Leadership Service Experience - Cultivating a community of young servant leaders to transform Pittsburgh
Office Address | 5151 Penn Avenue | Pittsburgh, PA 15224 | | (412) 361-0124
Mailing Address | 5615 Stanton Avenue | Pittsburgh, PA 15206
© 2018 PULSE Pittsburgh | Site design by Cara Rufenacht.