What happens when fellows graduate from PULSE?

The vast majority of PULSE fellows not only stay in Pittsburgh after PULSE, but continue to invest in the East Liberty, Garfield, Highland Park, Perry South, and Allentown neighborhoods of Pittsburgh.  60% of alumni in Pittsburgh live within a one-mile radius of the PULSE houses. Alumni purchase and renovate homes, start families, develop small businesses, start nonprofits, volunteer, and work to be good neighbors.  This is the logical progression for a young adult, but the results for a PULSE fellow are staggering. Here are just a few of the things PULSE participants have specifically done in Pittsburgh neighborhoods:

  • Worked with residents to create the Kincaid St. Community Garden behind the Graham Street House in Garfield.
  • Organized a Beautify our Burgh Zone on Negley Ave in East Liberty.
  • Formed an Artists Studio in the basement of the Stanton House.
  • Developed the PULSE Gallery for emerging artists to showcase their work during Unblurred and other events in Garfield.
  • Alumni formed the Union Project, a space to connect, create and celebrate community in East Liberty.
  • Heavily involved in the creation of GrowPGH.
  • Over 10 homes completed renovated in the East Liberty and Garfield neighborhood.

The simple truth is that when PULSE has invested in the internal development of young adults, the external, built environment of places are transformed.

How do neighborhoods change?

The majority of community development investment focuses on the external, on THINGS in the physical environmental.  This investment is most often tied to various projects and programs like the planting of trees, the development of the business district, rehabilitating homes, etc.  These activities utilize PEOPLE, but the the focus is on THINGS.  This change is easily measurable.  This investment is good, beneficial and important in catalyzing change in communities.  THINGS attract PEOPLE.

On the flip side, there is investment that focuses on the internal, on the PEOPLE of the neighborhood.  This investment  is most often tied to developing PEOPLE in the neighborhood like youth programs, educational seminars, etc.  These activities make THINGS, but the focus is on investing in PEOPLE.  The thought is when great PEOPLE live in the community, they take care of the community, they invest in the community, they develop the community.  This investment is good, beneficial and important in catalyzing change in communities.  PEOPLE build THINGS.

Investment that focuses solely on THINGS or PEOPLE is incomplete.  Communities need THINGS and PEOPLE to sustainably grow and develop.

PULSE invest in PEOPLE, specifically recent, college graduates.  This PEOPLE investment has been in the in-migration of university graduates for a year of service and leadership.  The focus for PULSE is on how the internal (the hearts and minds of Pittsburgh young adults) might play a role in transforming the external, built environment.

We think our track record is pretty good.