by Kimberly Hunter
Kimberly Hunter is serving at The Pittsburgh Project for a year through The Pittsburgh Urban Leadership Service Experience (PULSE).
My very first week at The Pittsburgh Project, I could tell that this was a special place. Everyone I talk to believes in this organization and treasures it for what it means to them personally. It was palpable even to me, that not too many people who come here leave in a hurry. And if they do leave they often come back. A number of our staff members started here as children or service campers, grew up through the organization, and never left.
I’m not sure if this is something unique to The Pittsburgh Project, or just Pittsburgh in general. I’ve heard many stories, over the few short years I’ve lived in the city, of people growing up here or going to college here, spending a short stint away, and then returning to the city their hearts never truly left.
Maybe it’s something about the charm of an old steel town, now revitalizing, or the hills lush with green, or the big-city-small-town feel (or maybe it’s something in that river water), but hardly anyone comes to Pittsburgh and leaves quite the same. I caught the bug myself when I decided to stay in the city after graduating from Duquesne University. Something about this city captivated my attention and excited my dreams.
I found myself wanting to invest in Pittsburgh and nonprofit service became my chosen path after college. I joined PULSE because their mission and values aligned with mine. My purpose for this year is to serve at a nonprofit, live in community, and grow as a leader. I wanted to partner with The Pittsburgh Project because their reputation preceded them and their vision, personality, and faith came across so strongly to me that I knew I wanted to be a part of it.
When I first started, it was hard for me not to feel a little bit intimidated as a stranger walking into a tightly knit group of people who are not just committed to their mission, but also committed to God and each other. That whole-hearted investment is evident from each and every person who brings a piece of themselves to this organization. Now, it’s obvious to me that The Pittsburgh Project is not just an organization serving people. It’s really a family serving other families.
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