Fellow Story: Brett Smith

“PULSE has inspired me to live simply and communally, as well as grow with like-minded people.”

A graduate of Stonehill College, Brett majored in Political Science. Brett has served with three different organizations in the Brockton and Easton areas of Massachusetts including Catholic charitiesMy Brother’s Keeper, and The Farm at Stonehill. All of these experiences taught him different lessons, but the Farm at Stonehill was the most transformative experience. In his free time, Brett enjoys cycling, learning languages, traveling, watching movies, and volunteering. Brett is a part of the East End cohort and serves at PittServes. Brett was interviewed by Jahqwahn Watson.

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

Brett: PULSE has inspired me to live simply and communally, as well as grow with like-minded people. In terms of thinking, PULSE has inspired me to take advantage of resources in order to make a change in the nonprofit sector in Pittsburgh. In terms of acting, I have been able to grow professionally, and personally by taking a leap of faith in a new environment in order to make a change.

Jahqwahn: What have you enjoyed most about living in community? How have you and your housemates pushed/encouraged one another?

Brett: My housemates have pushed me to improve the space we call our own, by improving as an individual in order to be a better housemate. They have pushed me as a housemate by making sure we have a structure in the house to allow functionality, as well as have bonds with each other throughout the year as we all continue a new experience together.

Jahqwahn: What have you enjoyed most about your nonprofit partnership?

Brett: I have enjoyed being able to grow in a position I was familiar with and passionate about as an Alternative Break Coordinator for the University of Pittsburgh. But also, growing through discomfort professionally — learning to manage time well, gaining professional skills, as well as building and maintaining professional relationships with colleagues and students who recently graduated.

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

Brett: Burrito bowls. I would not be making family meals otherwise, and I love that I can make a meal to bring us together after a busy day at work. I have been able to learn how to cook better for my housemates.

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

Brett: Going to Carrie Blast Furnaces, an old Pittsburgh steel mill. I thought that it was a great time to learn about Pittsburgh’s history because it had such an impact on the people of Pittsburgh, even to this day. It was interesting to experience this history first-hand as someone who hadn’t been to Pittsburgh prior to PULSE.

Jahqwahn: How do you unwind in Pittsburgh?

Brett: My ideal way to unwind is to give time to myself and reflect on my day in a quiet space I can call my own. Or to spend time with other PULSE fellows by letting the time pass in our free time.

Read more Fellow Stories 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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