People

How are fellows impacting Pittsburgh and beyond?

Fellows impacted by PULSE

It’s impossible for me to name all the ways I’ve been impacted by PULSE. I’ve discovered passions, personal and professionally. I’ve made life-long friends. I’ve been given the opportunity to serve, take ownership of a project and gain job experience. But most importantly, PULSE has instilled in me a sense of self-confidence and the knowledge that I can and will make a difference in Pittsburgh.

Maggie Graham
PULSE 2010-2011

I can say without a doubt, PULSE got connected to a profession and the cultural scene in Pittsburgh, both of which I have enjoyed immensely. It was a great program for me post-college and a smart step in career and personal development.

Stephan Bontrager
PULSE 2001-2002

I can’t quite imagine how different life would have been without PULSE. This has been the best “after college” decision for me. I’ve grown as an individual and young professional because of the people around this program; supervisors, housemates, alumni and neighbors. If I wouldn’t have done PULSE, my community and network of individuals would be completely different.

Anna Pawsey
PULSE 2010-2011

I discovered new interests during my PULSE year, thanks to my fellow PULSErs: urban design, getting outside to hike/bike/walk/garden and, at large, how to be in community with others. I also gained great friends, roommates and even found love. My partner of 4.5 years, Sam, and I met in the same PULSE cohort.

Cassandra Masters
PULSE 2018-2019

My experience at PULSE helped me find my next position working in the environmental field and gave me a foundation for what I wanted to do later in my career. I had considered grad school but it took PULSE and other jobs to realize that I wanted to pursue public health. Two jobs, grad school, and three states later I’m back in Pittsburgh.

Hannah Geiser
PULSE 2013-2014

PULSE really pushed me out of my comfort zone and truly propelled me on my journey as a young professional. It was the perfect gap year experience after graduating from college to help me deepen my passion for service and strengthen my skills as a leader. I don’t think I would have had the confidence to travel around the country and land the job I am working now had it not been for my PULSE year. I am forever grateful for the ways in which PULSE challenged me and presented me with new perspectives on helping others, building community, and promoting diversity in the nonprofit sector. I am also extremely grateful for a lot of the cool, lifelong friends I made along the way.

Chloe Gipson
PULSE 2021-2022

I can safely say I wouldn’t have gotten my first FT job after PULSE (Nine Mile Run Watershed Association now UpStreamPGH) without my experience as a PULSEr. I also would not have gone to grad school where I did without PULSE!

Alicia Donner
PULSE 2010-2011

PULSE has influenced just about everything since I moved to Pittsburgh for the experience in 2003. Thanks to PULSE, I made connections and friends that enabled me to make this city my home. I met my family here, bought two houses here, and I’m proud to be a Pittsburgher!

Tara Covelens
PULSE 2003-2004

The amount of things I got out of my PULSE experience still wows me to this day. I went to college nearby, and before PULSE, I had no idea how I would find a place to live, a job, or a community in Pittsburgh. I found strong, long-lasting relationships within the other Fellows that continue to enrich my life. I also got the opportunity to use my college degree and skills to strengthen a meaningful non-profit where I have been able to cultivate the same community I served in. Living communally was a wonderful experience that I enjoyed each day. I learned a lot about myself, the non-profit world, and my place in it. As a whole, my PULSE experience was the perfect bridge between my undergraduate life and being a Real Adult.

Rain McCoy
PULSE 2022-2023