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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