I’m Amanda Carpenter, and I served at Pittsburgh Mercy’s Operation Safety Net in Pittsburgh from 2016-2017. During my year of service, I discovered my passion for working on healthcare issues among individuals experiencing homelessness. I became deeply embedded in the work I was doing, and decided to stay in Pittsburgh. I’m now a full-time graduate student at the University of Pittsburgh working on a Master’s in Public Health and a Master’s in International Development, and I’m continuing my work at Operation Safety Net as their community health clinical specialist.
My year with MVC opened to my eyes to the complex issue of housing instability and homelessness. The issue of homelessness is so much more than simply not having a place to live. I loved that MVC provided the support and framework for me to explore and process some of those complex issues that I faced during my service experience. It confirmed my desire to go on to study public health and work with vulnerable populations.
As an alumna, the spirit of MVC has stayed with me. I see my work and my graduate program as ways that I can continue living out my commitment to compassionate service and spiritual growth. I continue to work with marginalized populations and advocate for social justice. I work with the current Mercy Volunteers at Operation Safety Net, and the Sisters of Mercy continue to be a resource and support for me. Being part of the Pittsburgh MVC support network has allowed me to stay involved with MVC, contribute to the experience of the volunteers, and live out my own spirituality and values.
Amanda Carpenter ’16: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania