Community Foundation's PULSE builds steam in 25th year
SARA BARKER | The Sun News
For Lexi Ortiz, giving back to the community was an outlet to help her through a rough patch in her life.
In middle school, her mom was diagnosed with cancer and her parents got divorced. During that time, she started getting involved with community organizations as a way to serve others.
That desire to serve has only blossomed in the years since.
Now, as the president of PULSE, a student-led philanthropic group through the Community Foundation of Noble County, the incoming East Noble High School senior said she grew from hardship into the involved, active person she is today.
She’s at the helm now for PULSE’s 25th year, as the student-led service group plans its silver anniversary.
“Doing service has kind of been like my outlet. And I can speak in front of people now,” she said.
Ortiz was busy Tuesday leading one of PULSE’s summer meetings. There, she and other students planned their monthly service projects and organized shifts for their members to work them.
Margarita White, program director of the community foundation, said the students are in complete control of how PULSE operates, including which service projects they do and their code of conduct.
The group is made up of members from all three Noble County school districts.
“They make all the rules,” White said.
The freedom to make decisions and evaluate their choices on their own makes PULSE a formative experience for the teenagers in the group, White said.
One current PULSE member would agree. Ben Jansen, a 17-year-old East Noble senior, said he believes being exposed to volunteering and philanthropy management while still in high school is only good for the future.
“It’s good that we’re starting young because we can work on it and constantly get better at it,” Jansen said.