“The PULSE experience has helped me learn what it takes to live in community and the serious work and investment that is required. It has helped me improve who I am as a coworker and community member.” – Nathan McKnight
Hailing from Gaithersburgh, Maryland, Nathaniel McKnight attended Eastern Mennonite University where he received a Bachelor of Arts in Peacebuilding and Development. At EMU, he participated in an interfaith philosophical and religious discussion group called the Freethought Coalition and worked as a Student Reference Assistant in the library. He also completed a study abroad program in Puebla, Mexico, where he had the opportunity to study Spanish language and culture and engage with host families. He comes to PULSE after a summer of facilitating programming for formerly incarcerated people with the Washington Community Scholars Program in Washington DC. Nathaniel likes to bike, hike, and do yoga in his free time. He is serving at Northside Common Ministries.
Rachel Bowman: What has been the most valuable part of the PULSE experience so far?
Nathan McKnight: PULSE has helped me to see where my strengths and weaknesses are as a professional. I’ve become aware of my skills at being a good listener. Being in a homeless shelter, the work can be emotionally draining, and the experience has taught me how you manage that stress and move forward with it.
Rachel: What do you enjoy most about your nonprofit partnership?
Nathan: I really appreciate the mission of my nonprofit – knowing that we support people who are in need. I appreciate that we are uniquely caring and genuinely compassionate to those who come through our doors.
Rachel: Describe a typical day at your nonprofit partnership.
Nathan: At the shelter, the day-to-day tasks differ as needs arise. We have a variety of services: social workers, a food pantry, and kitchen. I help cook, meet with clients who come in, make referrals to social services, help stock the pantry and assist clients.
Rachel: How has PULSE inspired you to think/act/live differently?
Nathan: The PULSE experience has helped me learn what it takes to live in community and the serious work and investment that is required. It has helped me improve who I am as a coworker and community member.
Rachel: What has surprised you most about Pittsburgh?
Nathan: The Hillz! Also, there are so many opportunities and events. Even compared to DC, Pittsburgh has an impressive amount of things to do.
Story by PULSE Participant Rachel Bowman.
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