“Through my placement, I have learned how much I really enjoy the personal interactions and connections of meeting with community members. I always knew it was important, but as an introverted individual I honestly would not have expected myself to enjoy it as much as I did. I feel I’ve developed a lot as a person this year and hope to incorporate this into my career.” – Kevin Tang
Kevin Tang is no stranger to Pittsburgh. He came here to attend the University of Pittsburgh and wanted to stay after earning his degree in Ecology & Evolution and Urban Studies.
Throughout his time at the University of Pittsburgh, Kevin worked at many area nonprofits, including Tree Pittsburgh, GlobalPittsburgh, Phipps Conservatory, Magee-Women’s Research Institute, and the Collegiate YMCA.
Through the Pittsburgh Urban Leadership Service Experience (PULSE), Kevin serves with Allegheny River Towns Enterprise Zone (ARTEZ). This nonprofit is a community economic development agency that works in seven municipalities on the north shores of the Allegheny River. At ARTEZ, Kevin serves as project fellow providing support in projects such as the Community Data Pilot Program and capacity building in Sharpsburg.
Here’s what Kevin has to say about his time with PULSE.
Sara Alvarez: Describe a typical day at ARTEZ.
Kevin Tang: A major project that I have been working on is the Community Data Pilot Program, a project that will help us better understand how to collect, analyze, and use data to improve Sharpsburg and Aspinwall. My work primarily involves conference calls or meetings with Jackson/Clark Partners, the group helping to organize the project, and planning meetings with community stakeholders. These meetings have included an innovation and brainstorming session with borough residents, businesses, employees, and focus groups. We hope to kick-off the survey administration portion of the project in February.
Sara: What do you enjoy most about ARTEZ?
Kevin: I really enjoy working directly with community members on local projects, especially in Sharpsburg. Sharpsburg has had a not-so favorable reputation in the past, but the Sharpsburg I see today and the people I have met have shown me that this perception is undeserved. With organizations like ARTEZ and Sharpsburg Neighborhood Organization (SNO), you can really see this community turning around. It has been great seeing the hopes and potentials of the communities that I work with and it’s even better seeing when these things become a reality. I am especially looking forward to the rain barrel project SNO has planned for the community.
Sara: Tell me about something you’ve learned about yourself through PULSE?
Kevin: Through my placement, I have learned how much I really enjoy the personal interactions and connections of meeting with community members. I always knew it was important, but as an introverted individual I honestly would not have expected myself to enjoy it as much as I did. I feel I’ve developed a lot as a person this year and hope to incorporate this into my career.
Sara: What’s your favorite “family meal” recipe for the house?
Kevin: It’s difficult to say; there are so many to choose from! If I had to pick one, it would be black bean sweet potato burritos, courtesy of the house’s favorite cookbook, Simply in Season, and PULSEr Jess Sprunger. I love the simplicity of it and, of course, the flavor and texture.
Sara: What surprised you most so far about participating with PULSE and/or living in Pittsburgh?
Kevin: For me, the most surprising part of PULSE has been the intentional community, which has exceeded my expectations. Having attended Pitt, I feel very familiar with the city, but since many of the PULSErs are not from the area, seeing Pittsburgh from a new perspective has been fun and interesting. Additionally, it’s been great sharing our hobbies and learning new skills from one another, ranging from cycling to knitting to board games.
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.