Thursday, September 2, 2010

Orientation & placements

I just realized, I didn't write about my placement in my last (first?) post. I'm working at East Liberty Development, Inc. ELDI is a 501c3 Community Development Corporation dedicated to the revitalization of East Liberty. I will be working as a Communications Coordinator for 35 hours/week. Basically, my job is to manage communications between ELDI and basically everyone in East Liberty--residents, community leaders, developers, funders, service partners, shoppers, all of it.

Specifically, this includes working on a redesign of websites, digital and social media, e-blasts, developing communications strategies (for both the residential and business districts), marketing, compiling/writing the Annual Report, writing press releases and articles and (finally) event coordination. For those of you who know me well, you're probably thinking..."PR? I thought Maggie hated PR."

Well. I do, but when I interviewed for this position I was actually EXCITED about this job. I don't know if it's because I have a greater understanding of my skills set and the role they can play in restoring the kingdom, or if it's due to my passion for the mission of ELDI, but I am EXCITED. About Communications. Obviously, God is behind this! All three positions for which I interviewed told me straight up that my job would include some PR. Basically I had this feeling like "Okay, God, I get it. PR it is". He's not done with me there, yet.

But before I can actually be at my placement, we have to do orientation! We've gotten to see a decent amount of our neighborhood thus far. Our first day included going to Highland Park (beeeautiful) for some orientation games thanks to our friends at the CCO (it follows me everywhere! ;]). Then we went to the farmer's market and came home to find fresh peaches on our table from one of our board members. Not a bad way to start the year, right? Tuesday was a lot of basic paperwork kind of stuff and getting to know the program. On Wednesday, we went to my placement and met with my supervisor who took us on a sort of guided tour of East Liberty (wikipedia has a pretty decent history, actually). We learned what it was, what it is now, and how it can be in the future--if folks like ELDI continue to make the right decisions and partner with the same organizations and residents. Then we had lunch at Abay, an Ethiopian restaurant. We also went to the Union Project and helped some folks at gTech--both amazing organizations!

Today, we went on a bike ride. Most of us drove down to the South Side and went along the river trails up beside East Carson, across the Hot Metal Bridge, then down up the Mon to the Smithfield Street Bridge and back to East Carson. And then most of us did the loop again. My butt is pretty sore but it was a beautiful way to start the day! We did a lot of paperwork this afternoon and had dinner with last year's PULSErs. It was great to speak with them and learn more about their experiences and what they're doing now.

My favorite thing we've done so far, however, has been just hanging out with my fellow PULSErs. They are all amazing women, and I am so excited that God put them here in my life for (at least) the next 11 months! I really feel so blessed to be a part of PULSE. I'm already learning about all of these connections with various Christian communities around Pittsburgh and all of the opportunities we have up here. I have no idea what God is going to do next July when this whole gig is over, but I can just feel that His plans are pretty amazing (aren't they always?). I wish I could put down in words how excited I was to be on our tour of East Liberty was just really, really exciting.

Now that I've finished this ridiculously long post...keep us in your prayers, please! Many of us are worried about transportation to our placements and all of the other stuff that comes with the first-day jitters. Prayer would be great--and communicate your prayer requests to me, as well!

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