Fellow Story: Vince Balestrino

“Working with the students inspires me and gives me the energy to take on the problems in our schools and local communities.” -Vince Balestrino

A graduate of Duquesne University Vince Balestrino majored in Public Relations and Advertising while minoring in Intercultural Engagement.  Vince has devoted himself to marketing.  He was a Marketing Fellow for 90.5 WESA and 91.3 WYEP in Pittsburgh, PA.  He also served as a Marketing/Sales Intern for WTAE-TV and as a Marketing Intern for Mastech, Inc.   Additionally, Vince has volunteered with FeelGood to spread awareness and end extreme hunger and has participated in service trips to the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, Kingston, Jamaica, and Nyeri Kenya.  Vince’s hobbies include playing sports, acting and singing, hiking, and attending concerts.  He is a part of the South Hilltop cohort, and serving at Homeless Children’s Education Fund.

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

Vince Balestrino: I have most valued my nonprofit partnership. Throughout my life, family and friends have told me that I am destined to be a teacher due to my love of working with youth. Through my partnership, I have discovered that there are many ways to impact younger generations without having to lead a classroom. I do not know the course in which my life will take, but I am convinced that advocating for younger generations will be at the forefront of my life moving forward.

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

Vince: PULSE has inspired me to live/think/act differently in multiple ways. For example, I have lived a more eco-friendly existence since joining the program. I have also gained many new perspectives from other fellows and coworkers which have helped me grow as a person.

Jarrett: Tell me something you are learning about yourself through PULSE.

Vince: I am learning to be more patient with myself and live in the present. I do not have all the answers nor do I have a crystal ball, but I have learned that uncertainty is okay. Life is full of surprises and I am more appreciative of my daily experiences, rather than worrying about my future as much.

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

Vince: I can’t express my appreciation for my partnership enough. From the organization’s mission to its staff, I have been incredibly blessed with this opportunity. My day-to-day is not always the same and I am constantly inspired by the teen students with whom I interact. I also truly cherish working with teachers, social workers, and other youth advocates as we try to improve the lives of our students both inside and outside of the classroom. Lastly, I am incredibly grateful to serve in an office environment where I am treated as family and where my own thoughts and opinions are not only considered, but encouraged.

Jarrett: Describe a typical day at your nonprofit partnership.

Vince: There is no typical day at my partnership, which I very much value. With that being said, I spend much of my time in the high schools of Pittsburgh Public Schools. While in school, I hold office hours for at-risk students and facilitate classes centered on college and career readiness. Serving with the students inspires me and gives me the energy to take on the problems in our school and local communities.

Jarrett: What surprised you most about Pittsburgh?

Vince: I have lived the majority of my life in the Steel City and consider myself an expert of the metropolis, but I have learned much more about my hometown. Through exploring the neighborhoods of the PULSE cohorts, I have discovered some fantastic restaurants and breathtaking views. More than that, I have come to appreciate the pride that each individual neighborhood holds while being part of this rich and vibrant city.

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

Vince: Jarrett and I have had some great adventures over the last few months. More recently, we took a nice walk to Grandview Park before the sunrise on a Saturday morning. The lights of the city were inspiring as we listened and freestyled to some fresh beats. While it may not be interesting or exciting to most, it was grand ole time had by two pals.

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

Vince: Renee’s chicken without a doubt. That stuff is dangerously good.

Jarrett: What is the best part of the PULSE experience?

Vince: Being able to live, serve, and grow in the city that has given me so much.


Story by PULSE Fellow Jarrett Crowell.

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: