Participant Story : Providence Smith

Providence Smith

“One of the best parts of the PULSE experience is sharing food and good conversations within the intentional community.” – Providence Smith



Providence Smith is a relationship builder.  Originally from Washington DC, Providence moved to Pennsylvania to attend Messiah College, where she majored in Sociology and Anthropology, then relocated to Pittsburgh to join PULSE.  Providence spent much of her time in college building relationships with a variety of people.  She worked as staff at an after school program, spent a semester in India living in intentional community, and worked as a camp counselor.

Providence is currently serving at Oakland Planning and Development Corporation for her PULSE placement. She works with the JobLinks program where she assists people with resumes, job searching, and mock interviews. When Providence isn’t building relationships with clients as she helps them build resumes, you might find her spending time singing with her housemates or sitting on the porch swing at the PULSE house. Providence’s dream Saturday in Pittsburgh would be taking a jaunt down to La Gourmandine Bakery (a French bakery in Lawrenceville), riding a sailboat in one of the rivers, and then watching the sunset go down over the river with a picnic dinner and fireworks.

What do you love about Pittsburgh?

I appreciate that there are so many people who are engaged in their communities and want to be involved in making Pittsburgh a great place to live.

What is the best part of the PULSE experience?

One of the best parts of the PULSE experience is sharing food and good conversations within the intentional community. We have potlucks once a week where the three houses come together and each make a dish. Some of us also get together and sing once in a while which has brought me great joy.

What is something about Pittsburgh that has surprised you?

I didn’t realize how much of a community Pittsburgh would feel like. Hearing conversations on the bus where people see friends or the occasional bus driver who wishes their riders a “nice day”  creates a sense of belonging. Also, I didn’t realize that people could live on such steep hills!

What have you learned about yourself in PULSE so far?

PULSE has helped me to realize that I can cook for large amounts of people and navigate a new city.

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

This year PULSE has helped me even more to open my eyes to the challenges that individuals face when struggling with employment. It’s given me more compassion for those with difficult pasts and encouraged me to give people second chances who may be overlooked in our society.

Story by Anna Wildermuth, PULSE Alumna ’10-’11, ’11-’12.

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.