Participant Story: Jordan West


West“I’ve learned my place in the community and how to utilize my strengths and apply those to my house, my community, and the other cohort.” – Jordan West

Jordan West graduated from the University of Scranton with a degree in Italian, and minors in Spanish and International Studies. He spent one academic year during college studying in Milan, Italy, where he also interned at a newspaper and worked as an English tutor. Jordan has much experience working with high school students, including college-readiness mentoring and work-readiness skills teaching. Jordan loves serving in community throughout his time with PULSE.  He is serving at the Acculturation for Justice, Access and Peach Outreach (AJAPO) alongside Kristen Hochreiter.

Rebecca Michelson: What is the most interesting/fun adventure you’ve had in Pittsburgh?

Jordan West: We started the evening by eating dinner together. Then we went to Klavon’s Ice Cream, a 50’s style ice cream parlor.  Lastly we ended our night at a drive-in movie theater—technically outside of Pittsburgh, but it counts.  Many laughs were had, and it was a great experience to get to know my house better and the surrounding area of Pittsburgh and all it has to offer.

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

Jordan: I am learning how to utilize and how to be a part of a community.  I have learned my place in the community and how to utilize my strengths and apply those to my house, my neighbors, and the other cohort. It’s very different from the university environment where you don’t have as much time to focus on non-academic related pursuits.

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

Jordan: The best part of the PULSE experience is being part of the Northside expansion. I as well as the other fifteen PULSERs on the Northside are a part of something new, and with that we have the power to build relationships and set the precedent for PULSE in the Northside. It is both an exciting and humbling experience.

Rebecca: Describe a typical day at your nonprofit partnership.

Jordan: My position is primarily employment oriented, aimed at helping the client attain economic self-sufficiency. Each day, however, is different. Some days I will take a client to an appointment, like a doctor’s appointment and make sure they have all of their paperwork and that appropriate accommodations are provided.  Other days,  I will help a client realize their employment goals by aiding in job retention, or finding more employment opportunities.  Sometimes I will even take families to places like the Children’s Museum and Point State Park.

Rebecca: What surprised you most about Pittsburgh?

Jordan: Two things: The special feel of each neighborhood. Each one is distinct, and has its own quirks and secrets. People have a sense of pride for each and every neighborhood. Secondly, the die hard sports mentality. I have never been in a place where sports are such a big deal.  It’s fun!

Story by PULSE Participant Rebecca Michelson.

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: