Participant Story: Jaclyn Kuyers

PULSE has inspired me to become deeply invested in the place that I am living and working. It has challenged me to look deeper into the community’s strengths and weaknesses and see the opportunities for change.” – Jaclyn Kuyers

Jaclyn Kuyers grew up in Pella, IA, and attended Calvin College where she earned a degree in Fine Arts, minoring in Dance. While at Calvin, Jaclyn balanced her studies with school service.  She worked extensively on campus as a Campus Tour Guide, in addition to serving with the Student Senate and interning with the Student Life Office. Jaclyn also was involved with the Student Philanthropy Council, the Campus Involvement and Leadership Office, and the Visual Arts and Dance Guilds.  In her free time, Jaclyn enjoys choreography, dancing, and pursuing artistic endeavors.  She is a part of the East End cohort, and is serving at the Environmental Charter School.

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

Jaclyn Kuyers: PULSE has inspired me to become deeply invested in the place that I am living and working. It has challenged me to look deeper into the community’s strengths and weaknesses and see the opportunities for change. PULSE has made me think about how I can listen deeper and embrace others in their background, because you have so much to learn from them and they have so much to offer.  

Erin: What do you enjoy most about your nonprofit partnership?

Jaclyn: I have enjoyed getting to know my coworkers and the students at ECS. It is exciting to see the students engage in the school and what they are learning. My coworkers challenge and encourage me to be creative and innovative within my work. It has been great working alongside individuals who are passionate about the school and the school’s mission. I love being able to communicate their passions and stories so that others can see the exciting things that are happening at ECS.

Erin: Describe a typical day at your nonprofit partnership.

Jaclyn: I normally start my day by checking emails and going to meetings. A majority of my time is spent designing info graphics and promotional material for ECS. I also manage all of their social media platforms and post about the school, their mission, and the everyday ECS experience. On Mondays, we eat lunch with the Kindergarteners – that is always the highlight of my day and week. It’s great to be reminded why we are doing the work we do. I serve in a very collaborative office space, so there is constant bouncing back and forth of ideas. So many good innovative ideas come from this environment and it really works well for us at ECS.

Erin: What is the most interesting/fun adventure you’ve had in Pittsburgh so far?

Jaclyn: A few PULSErs and myself went to the Gallery Crawl downtown organized by the Cultural Trust. It was awesome to see all the local art that is happening the city and the crowds of people that wanted to be a part of that. It was also a great opportunity to make connections and it led me to getting involved with a volunteer position. It was great to see good art, eat good food, have good drinks, and get involved with something that I am passionate about.

Erin: What’s your favorite “family meal” recipe for the house?

Jaclyn: A Jackson house favorite is garbage pasta, which is basically pasta, garlic, sauce, and all the leftover veggies in the fridge. Jackson’s key ingredient to any good dish is garlic.

Story by PULSE Participant Erin Guthrie.

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:

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