PAIRIN Team Volunteers at 3rd Annual Fall Feast Denver

By: Susan Simpson

Denver welcomed Fall Feast to the National Stock Show Complex on November 10. Fall Feast started in Cincinnati in 2005 to “change [the] community for the better through celebration, connection and the passion to serve others.” We were thrilled to be invited by our client and friends at the Reciprocity Collective to help participants discover how PAIRIN helps match their skill sets to potential jobs. It was uplifting to be a part of this holiday event which seeks to provide critical support to some of our city’s most vulnerable people. It was a sober reminder that anyone’s life could take a turn for the worst at any moment. What stood out to me was the evident resiliency of the individuals I had the privilege to meet. We administered The PAIRIN Survey to over a dozen participants to identify employability skills.

There was an 8-year-old, who despite being informed the survey was intended for 7th graders and above, was so keen to understand “College & Career Readiness” that he recruited his 10-year-old brother to help him navigate the difficult words. He loved learning that his strongest Virtue Class was: Lover of Wisdom & Knowledge, but neither of the PAIRIN coaches was surprised.

The stories ranged and only became more uplifting. There was a man of Vietnamese origin, who eagerly took the survey to learn about his superpowers. He resonated with his resultant strong scores in Collaboration and that he was a Lover of Transcendence (meaning he “seeks meaning and connection with that which is beyond me”). Before leaving, he asked if I could send him a list of all 300 adjectives with their definitions as he wanted to add “all of them” to his working vocabulary.

But the story that really stands out and strongly demonstrates both the power of helping others and how PAIRIN works, was that of K. K and her partner have been homeless for five years. She struggles with food issues and would love to find work that would move her away from fast food environments. Her dream job would be to work with animals. Upon completing The PAIRIN Survey, my colleague and PAIRIN’s Director of Operations, Allison, helped her add a target from the “zoology” field. We were delighted that K scored a 98% match to a role in zoology, and she was thrilled! In a mini coaching session, our team affirmed her immeasurable worth and beauty, explored several strong matches to the job target and did a bit of work toward lowering her high Self-Blame. I believe that her experience gave K the confidence, with Mary’s (from Reciprocity) guidance, to sign up to interview for job openings at the Denver City Zoo.

Thank you to all of the participants who organized and attended this wonderful event. We look forward to next year!