50th Anniversary

The Boston College PULSE Program is a pioneering service-learning program that has offered 3.2 million hours of service to the greater Boston community throughout its 53-year history.

PULSE by the Numbers

3.2 Million

Service Hours
Since 1970


PULSE Students
Since 1970


Present Day
Community Partners

PULSE connects the world in a way that other programs don't; people who normally would not talk to each other or know each other or develop a relationship are able to do that through PULSE. I think that, to me, is the most valuable thing about service learning opportunities—it's not abstract, it's real.
lyndia downie, president & executive director, pine st. inn

Featured Interviews

Watch extended interviews with key members of the PULSE Community.

Patrick Byrne photo

Patrick Byrne
Founder, PULSE Program

“It was a time of great social upheaval in the country. The civil rights movement had been developing for about five or six years and Martin Luther King Jr had been assassinated the previous spring..."

Meghan Sweeney photo

Meghan Sweeney
Cooney Family Director, PULSE Program

“As students get to know people, their hearts are broken open and they begin to care in a deeper way — they experience sadness, but they also experience joy."


Lyndia Downie Photo

Lyndia Downie
President & Executive Director, Pine Street Inn

“Ultimately I see the PULSE students as being ambassadors — they have a role to play in telling the stories of our guests..."

Jonathan Scott Photo

Jonathan Scott ’79
Founder & President Emeritus, Victory Programs

“I have been in my PULSE placement since the mid-70's — actually it's really the only job I've ever had.  Slim resume me!"

Shawn Copeland Photo

M. Shawn Copeland
Professor Emerita, PULSE Program

“... they learn something about what it means to be in solidarity with other people — in an honest way..."

Anthony Smith Photo

Anthony Smith ’19
Suffolk County House of Correction PULSE Alumnus

“... building compassion and building honest, vulnerable relationships... made me critically reflect on the criminal justice system..."

Tammy Lee Photo

Tammy Lee ’19
Boston Living Center PULSE Alumna

“PULSE is probably the best opportunity to learn in class and apply those methods outside of class..."

Andrew Weisner Photo

Andrew Weisner ’21
Haley House PULSE Alumnus

“...it's a different type of soup kitchen because it's a much more personal one..."

Elizabeth Coscia Photo

Elizabeth Coscia ’20
The Work Force Youth Program PULSE Alumna

“It might not always mean helping a kid get an A on his test; it also just means listening to how their day was..."

Share Your PULSE Story

In celebration of 50 years of service learning, PULSE is collecting impact stories from alumni/ae to share with others. We invite you to contribute to any of the following questions:

What is a particular class memory you have and how did it shape you? This could be a reading, a topic, a professor, a classmate, a discussion, etc.

What is a particular service memory you have and how did it shape you? This could be a supervisor, a client, something that happened at your service site, etc.