I Want to Start a Movement: Everyone Deserves to be Discovered
Just like old movie stars, everyone deserves to find a career path that they love, and KenCrest’s employment program does just that.
By Marian Baldini
KenCrest President & CEO
Growing up, the way movie stars were discovered was always a topic of conversation; now, we have TV series like The Voice where people compete to have celebrity musicians recognize their talent and give them special attention. The reality is that we all have unique gifts and talents; what if everyone got ‘discovered?’
That’s the concept behind a relatively new service we offer at KenCrest— ironically called Discovery. There are many ways to determine someone’s passions and gifts, and we owe it to everyone to make it happen.
Check out the stories below where we helped discover talent:
Kevin was referred to our employment team by the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, an agency created to help people with disabilities get a job; he wanted to work in child care. Kevin’s obstacles were pretty daunting; his academics were not a strong suit; but he preserved and passed all the required childcare competencies, including first aid and CPR. He is currently employed part-time as a teacher’s aide at Chesterbrook Academy. We believed in Kevin’s ability and supported him through his job search to find the right employer, land an interview, and get hired. Through this experience, Kevin, too, discovered that he could pass some tough tests and make his dreams come true!
Then there’s Darryl, who graduated from the Project Search program at Phoenixville Hospital. The Hospital employed him as a dietary aide in their kitchen, but Darryl wanted to do more. Slowly he pressed his case and accepted a position in the respiratory therapy department. Now Darryl ensures that the correct tanks of oxygen and other gases are in the right place for physicians. He also was promoted to mentoring new incoming Project Search participants. Darryl is exceptionally gifted, has a fabulous smile, and is warm and welcoming to all those he interacts with. He’s very proud of the meaningful contributions he makes at work and the Discovery that he can also teach others.
A few months ago, a parent needed our support in finding a day program for their adult son. The young man had a history of autism, a few perplexing behaviors, and what some would call a ‘short attention span.’ Instead of just finding him a day program, our team decided that they would discover what Chuck liked and bring those gifts to life. Chuck found that he wants to make things with his hands, mainly holiday and seasonal ornaments. He plans to sell his creations at craft shows and a flea market in Oaks, PA. It may turn into a small business! Chuck’s family has discovered that his interests can be leveraged as a job, giving them new hope for his happiness and his future.
We used to build our Employment Services staff based on their experience in human services and employment specialties. Now KenCrest targets those who have a variety of passions and interests; and often have diversified skillsets with interest in human services—think the farmer, the baker, and the candlestick maker. Our new-age job coaches want to help others discover and connect with their passions and interests. Each one brings their passion and skillset to the table to guide others as they actively learn a particular job industry, and they relate well to the employing companies our individuals work with. This could easily be a fabulous second career for retirees looking to contribute in a new way; will you be one of those retired people looking to be ‘discovered’ as a job coach?
Reflecting on my own career, I had some bosses who discovered me; I wonder what they see, and aren’t I lucky that they did! What if we all took that idea to heart? I want to start a movement—let’s discover some talent, and let’s get discovered ourselves; everyone is worth it.