Amanda Alexandre (Long Beach, NY /Susquehanna University ‘17)
Amanda Alexandre, a native of Long Beach, NY, completed her undergraduate degree at Susquehanna University with a degree in Psychology and a minor in Spanish. During her time in school, she was a Global Ambassador Intern, supporting international students’ transition to a new culture and providing academic advice. She also raised donations to help build houses in Snyder County with Habitat for Humanity. In her free time, Amanda practices yoga and meditation. She also enjoys running, reading, crocheting, and traveling. She is a part of the East End cohort, and is serving at the Crossroads Foundation.
Recently, Amanda wrote this letter of support to invite others to join in supporting next year’s group of PULSE fellows.
This time last year, I was overjoyed because I knew that at 22 I had an opportunity to leave a lasting impact on others through PULSE. PULSE cultivates a community of young servant leaders to positively influence some of the most vulnerable people and nonprofit organizations in Pittsburgh.
It is Spring again, and somehow, my year of service with PULSE is less than two months away from ending. With the support I have had from coworkers and the PULSE community, these past nine months have been a greater experience than for which I could have hoped for. Through PULSE, I have had the chance to live in an intentional community, to immerse myself in the city and grow as a leader, and to serve in a nonprofit organization, Crossroads Foundation, for 35 hours a week.
It is empowering to be among 32 young adults participating and believing in organizations that improve the lives of others. I am fortunate to live with four incredible other Fellows and hear about the trail they are paving at their organizations at the end of the day; their works ranges from serving at an environmental charter school, an age friendly organization, a nonprofit that serves people with disabilities, and one that helps foster a bond between mothers who have lost a child and a mother who is in need of donations of breast milk to keep their premature baby alive.
PULSE pushes us to be better individuals through weekly seminars led by local leaders and our diverse group of talented Fellows on relevant or controversial topics such as gentrification in Pittsburgh. PULSE also provides us with professional networking events and opportunities to explore local organizations like our local coffee shops, and many more.
Other ways I have been able to grow is by having a mentor in PULSE and a career coaching group. In addition to growing professionally, PULSE encourages us to join communities and organizations that relate to our passion; for this reason, I volunteer at an organization called Literacy Pittsburgh that focuses on teaching English to people of all walks of life living in Pittsburgh as refugees or professionals. Through this experience, I have gotten to know an incredible couple from China that I tutor English to twice a week.
Of course, the best part of being a PULSE Fellow is working with vulnerable youth at Crossroads Foundation. It is unaccountably rewarding to work with these young adults whose living experiences reflect my own at that age. Crossroads provides an equitable education to low-income high school students by sending them to one of our six partnering Catholic high schools in Pittsburgh. Aside from funding their high quality Catholic education, our students have a Crossroads Counselor at school to help with academic, social, and personal obstacles. Finally, we guide our scholars’ parents along their high school and college journey by hosting workshops and events to prepare them for their child’s continued education. I am privileged to take part in making a difference in these youths’ lives by coordinating and facilitating events to help guide their parents in their transitional period. Through my direct service role, I am able to go to the high schools to meet with our junior and senior scholars to prepare them for college, and to also offer support to those in their first year of college by checking in during their semester.
The most rewarding part of my job at Crossroad Foundation is seeing many of our first-generation college students beginning to hope for their future. I have seen students’ progress from being hesitant to meet with me in the beginning of my service year to thanking me for getting them to where they needed to be. Out of our 31 seniors, all of them have gotten accepted to a college or a university and will be attending some of the most well-known schools in the country such as Carnegie Mellon University, American University, Northeastern University, Howard University, and many more. As I imagine my future, I know I want my career to mimic my experience this past year. No matter the path I choose, I hope it will be filled with the same joy of making a positive change in our youths’ future, and with the contentment of knowing they will continue to pass it forward.
I am beyond grateful to have had an amazing year of service with PULSE after graduating from Susquehanna. This experience was only possible due to my PULSE predecessor raising enough money to allow the next generation of Fellows to share this opportunity with our housing, meals, and transportation covered for the year.
If you are able, would you please consider donating to PULSE so this amazing experience may be offered to another deserving individual? As a team, we are so close to our goal of raising enough money to support the incoming cohort and I am asking for your help to assist me in passing this forward.
An experience like this starts with people like you. In supporting PULSE, you support not only the Fellows, like the one I have become, but also to the school students whom I serve today, and whom I once was. I could not be here without people like you. Thank you for impacting my life in the many ways that you have.
17-18 PULSE Participant”
The goal is within reach. $80K of $85K, 95% has been raised by the current PULSE fellows.
Will you consider joining us as we work together to help Amanda and the PULSE fellows reach their goal?
Every gift matters. Every gift counts.