Participant Story: Jessie Smucker


Smucker“PULSE has made it easy for me to adjust to a new city through the intentional community that it fosters.” – Jessie Smucker




Originally from Cincinnati, OH, Jessica Smucker has spent the past four years completing her degree in Environmental Science and Sociology at Goshen College. Jessica is passionate about environmental issues, and has a lot of experience working in this field. She has worked on wetlands restoration with the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, improved environmental sustainability at a retirement community, and created a pollinator garden. In addition to this work, Jessica spent a semester studying in Cambodia. She enjoys playing violin, cooking, and biking.  She is working at Western Pennsylvania Conservancy.

Christian Umbach: What do you enjoy most about your nonprofit partnership?

Jessie Smucker: I’ve enjoy the balanced mix of in-office and in-field work with Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. While serving in the field, I have assisted with several tree plantings, helped volunteers with taking out the annual flowers in the community gardens, and planted mums in the downtown planters.

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

Jessie: I really have discovered the importance of networking. Not only is it helpful within a professional setting, but it also helps when forming relationships within PULSE and in our neighborhood. PULSE has made it easy for me to adjust to a new city through the intentional community that it fosters.

Christian: What is the most interesting/fun adventure you have had in Pittsburgh?

Jessie: One weekend, some PULSE friends and I went to the Arcade Comedy Theater, where we enjoyed some hilarious improv.

Christian: What surprises you about Pittsburgh?

Jessie: I was surprised by the steep hills on the Northside of Pittsburgh. I was also surprised by the large amount of neighborhoods. Besides downtown and Oakland, most neighborhoods are largely residential and have a small town feel. I was glad to discover all of the events and attractions happening throughout the city.

Christian: What is your favorite “family recipe” for your house?

Jessie: My favorite recipe so far is the baked mac and cheese that we made for one of our potlucks, which included lots of butter, cheese, and breadcrumbs.

Story by PULSE Participant Christian Umbach.

Read more Participant Stories from Fellows 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: