Before PULSE, I worked mostly manual labor jobs … At TRWIB, I work on the 26th floor of a building downtown, I’m expected to look sharp for work every day, and I get to collaborate with international consulting agencies, as well as the office of the mayor. It’s a far cry from jack-hammering concrete.
By day, Kevin Martin supports job training in his community; by night, he reveals his competitive side during intense Ultimate Frisbee games.
As a Pittsburgh Urban Leadership Service Experience (PULSE) Fellow, Kevin serves with Three Rivers Workforce Investment Board (TRWIB), an organization that helps connect job seekers to employers. The board offers job seekers low-cost training opportunities and gives incentives to businesses who hire new employees. (Read about TRWIB in this PULSE Partner Story!)
Ever since high school, Kevin knew he wanted to do service after college. As he graduated from Eastern Mennonite University – history degree in hand – Kevin realized PULSE would be a perfect fit because it combines service with professional development. The bonus, added Kevin: PULSE was in Pittsburgh, a perfect-sized city.
Here’s what Kevin has to say after several months in PULSE.
Sara Alvarez: Describe a typical day at Three Rivers Workforce Investment Board.
Kevin Martin: I’m currently working on coordinating recruitment and intake for a Certified Nurses Assistant (CNA) training program. My role includes setting up interview days, interviewing, and following up with candidates via email and phone. When I’m not busy with the CNA program (which is rare), I work on best-practice research for youth summer employment programs.
Sara: What do you enjoy most about TRWIB?
Kevin: I really like the level of professionalism at TRWIB. Before PULSE, I worked mostly manual labor jobs, such as farming and construction. At TRWIB, I work on the 26th floor of a building downtown, I’m expected to look sharp for work every day, and I get to collaborate with international consulting agencies, as well as the office of the mayor. It’s a far cry from jack-hammering concrete.
Sara: What is the most interesting/fun adventure you’ve had in Pittsburgh this year?
Kevin: So far, the best part of Pittsburgh has been making connections with the local Ultimate Frisbee community. I’ve met a lot of people outside of PULSE that I run into around the city, and I get to bike all over Pittsburgh to get to the games. The best things is indoor disc, 10-midnight on Saturday evenings, because biking in the city at night is almost as cool as playing.
Sara: Tell me something you’ve learned about yourself through PULSE?
Kevin: One thing I’ve learned about myself through PULSE is that I while I need to be social, I also need to be in touch with how I’m feeling, and not feel guilty about wanting alone time to re-charge.
Sara: What’s your favorite “family meal” recipe for the house?
Kevin: Coconut curry with lentils and rice. Amount of times I’ve made it: zero.
Sara: What surprised you most so far about participating with PULSE and/or living in Pittsburgh?
Kevin: I’m still surprised at how much Pittsburgh feels like a small town sometimes. I’ve only lived here since the end of August but I run into people I know all the time. That makes it feel like home.
Story by PULSE Alumna Sara Alvarez.
Read more stories about the Participant experience with PULSE. If you would like to learn more about the PULSE program, please visit our Serve with Us page.