Be the Change.


PULSE EDCI 2017I would like to share with you my journey of change.

I have stepped out of my comfort zone. I have stepped away from the job I’ve known for nearly 10 years – and a profession I’ve known for over 15 years – to serve my community. And I’m thrilled!

A little over 8 months ago, I began an extensive application process in hopes of being selected as a volunteer for GSK’s PULSE Program. Given my extensive background in and passion for  non-profit work and community volunteerism, I had been interested in applying for an assignment since the PULSE Program’s inception. However, life, workload, scheduling, and 100 other excuses got in the way of me exploring the idea further.

Last year, my department began discussions around employee development, emphasizing the importance and need for employees to speak openly and honestly about their development. Despite Sheryl Sandberg’s advice to “Lean In”, I hadn’t previously devoted an honest effort to my own development. In fact, I had become somewhat complacent and even frustrated with the idea of dedicating time to my career path. One afternoon, I mentioned to my manager my interest in a PULSE Assignment. I added it to my Performance Development Plan as I distant hope, never truly believing a PULSE Assignment would actually materialize.

Then one afternoon in December 2016, the same day as the deadline for submitting my PULSE application, I came down with a stomach bug. A few weeks prior, I had largely completed the application but, as Murphy’s [IT] Law would have it, when I logged on to submit my PULSE application the day of the deadline, I discovered that I had lost everything I had previously thought I had saved.

Frenzied, I began attempting to recreate my PULSE application.  And that was when the stomach bug hit.  Somehow, between sips of ginger ale and nibbles of crackers, I managed to complete the application (for a second time!) and submit it just seconds before the 5:00 p.m. deadline. My hope that I would be selected as a PULSE Volunteer dwindled.

I worried. I waited. Did my submission even meet the deadline or was it lost in cyber space? What about the quality of my responses? Would my skills be sufficient? Would my background be a match for the PULSE Team and PULSE Partners? Did the stomach bug get the best of me?

Fast-forward to today and I’m proud to say that I was selected to serve as a 2017 PULSE Volunteer! I received a local assignment at East Durham Children’s Institute as a Program Implementation Project Manager. I’ve now settled in to my PULSE Assignment and have hit the ground running, volunteering for the EDCI Summer STEAM Camp. I absolutely love working with the 3rd through 5th graders of EDCI who are here this summer to learn and grow their interest in science, technology, engineering, art and math.

I am so grateful to have been chosen as GSK PULSE Volunteer and can’t wait to share with you my journey of change.  Here’s to what is sure to be an amazing six months!



  1. Thank you for sharing your path to PULSE Jennifer! I look forward to following your journey ahead.

  2. I love this STEAM camp concept / idea. How exciting for you to be there first hand to support and promote this awesome program. I love the picture of you reading to the children…you look like a natural! Can’t wait to hear how the journey goes – they’re lucky to have you.

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