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Discovering Skills for a Meaningful Career

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“No offense, but I don’t need you anymore.”

Those words were music to Lillian Scenna’s ears.

Scenna exclaimed, “That’s the best thing you can say to me!”

After just a few days, Kim had settled into her new job as Assistant Swim Instructor at the YMCA and was ready to go it alone.

Lillian Scenna, LSW, ACRE, is the manager of Pine Tree Society’s Career Development Department.

“I coached her at the beginning to be sure she knew where to go to sign in, how to put things in her locker and get to the pool,” said Scenna. “Together, we created a way for her to have the cues she needed so that she could quickly do it alone.”

When she first met Kim, she could see right away that she had a higher skill set than she was able to use in the types of jobs she’d done before.

“My role was to help her discover the skills she has, and the skills she wanted to learn,” said Scenna.

Using the Discovering Personal Genius method to guide Kim through her interests and skills, Scenna was able to help her articulate what she really wanted to do and, just as importantly, narrow it down to what she can do independently without a job coach.

“Discovering Personal Genius is a process that invests in a person up front to explore what they are interested in and capable of doing,” said Scenna. “Together, we discover three themes, which can be very similar or quite different. At first, Kim was shy. I described that what we were going to do together was all about her personal choices. She said ‘It’s going to be hard. I like a lot of things.’”

Together, they learned that Kim’s three priority themes were: swimming, caregiving and children. She’s a natural swimmer and has earned more than three-dozen medals at Special Olympics events. Scenna arranged for Kim to job shadow with a children’s swim instructor at the Portland YMCA.

“Right away, the director could see she was a fit,” said Scenna. “They were looking for an assistant swim instructor and asked Kim to apply. When they told her she was going to be hired she was thrilled and said ‘I’m going to get paid for this?’”

This job combines all of her skills and abilities and is one she thoroughly enjoys.

“She’s teaching kids how to swim and it’s fun,” said Scenna. “She’s very patient and positive and gives high fives and ‘good jobs’ as they build their confidence.”

Having a meaningful job has transformed Kim’s life. In turn, she is transforming the lives of the kids she teaches to swim. It’s a skill they will now have for the rest of their lives, thanks to Kim.

To learn more about the services provided by Pine Tree Society’s Career Development Program, visit http://www.pinetreesociety.org/adults-and-families/career-development-services/.

Pine Tree Society helps people in Maine with disabilities lead richer, more socially connected lives. Too often, people with disabilities feel left out, even isolated. With the help of Pine Tree Society, they’re not alone. We share a spirit of innovation and desire to discover new ways to break down barriers that many find insurmountable. It started as a bold new idea in 1936 and it continues every day. For more information, please call (207) 443-3341 or visit our website, www.pinetreesociety.org.

 

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lori

Pine Tree Camp



Pine Tree Society helps people in Maine with disabilities lead richer, more socially connected lives. Too often, people with disabilities feel left out, even isolated. With the help of Pine Tree Society, they're not alone. We share a spirit of innovation and desire to discover new ways to break down barriers that many find insurmountable. It started as a bold new idea in 1936 and it continues every day. For more information, please call (207) 443-3341 or visit our website, www.pinetreesociety.org.

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