A couple of years ago I accepted a position in the human services field, assisting with child support services, and I fell in love. I got to go to work every day and change lives. Such positions never make any of us rich, but we become rich in watching those you help, help themselves. That is the mark of success, providing your expertise and experience to build them up and be in essence their “Defensive Coordinator.”
Even though I loved my job, I found myself without it last month and on the other side of the human services desk. I’ve experienced what it’s like as a customer, not just as a worker. The past three weeks, I've been working with some of the programs that the El Paso County Department of Human Services offers, from SNAP to more recently the Colorado Works (TANF) diversion program (short-term assistance rather than sustained assistance). I can honestly say I believe in what these programs stand for and how impressed I am by the staff behind them.
I've met with benefits eligibility technician Felicia Roe first. She never once talked down to me as if we were different from each other. She took her time explaining the next steps to assist me, and then she made me an appointment with Ruby (Alire, Colorado Works diversion case manager). She was so kind, and she gave me a spark of inspiration that I hadn't really felt since I left my job.
Today I got to meet with another case manager, John Staib, and he provided me with every resource available to become successful in my own goals, which is what I was looking for. Someone to just guide me to places in which I might not have thought to look.
I guess I am a little taken aback at how much these folks have faith in me, and they know nothing about me other than the documents I have provided. That is what I think sets their staff part from others.
I am a firm believer that when you believe in what you’re doing at your core, your passion will reflect to clients and they will notice. Just like I have. That is why I believe it's important to give credit where credit is due; nothing is more satisfying working in that field than hearing you made a difference in someone's life. It’s why we all come to work every day and challenge clients – because we see potential in them that maybe they have forgotten they had.
I am so excited today, as I met some wonderful staff members and now I have this entire packet of what I can just call "Greatness" to focus on which to focus my attention. I've spent the last hour taking the tips John told me about to highlight my abilities, and now I am getting ready to send my new and improved resume off into the universe. I have no doubt great things are heading my way because of the people with whom I've had the pleasure of working.
Thank you, El Paso County Department of Human Services! I look forward to completing and excelling at these programs and I hope I can assist others one day and give them the spark that has been given to me.
- By Krystal Heun
Former child support interstate case manager and military liaison