In 2022, Karen made it her goal to find a way to bridge the gap between her fellow community members experiencing homelessness and the resources they needed to find stability. While searching online for organizations that offered support, she came across Chrysalis. Having previously volunteered at other organizations, Karen applied to become a volunteer and has been with Chrysalis since early this year.
Over the past four months, Karen has supported Chrysalis clients during their job search journey both virtually and in person. As our centers have transitioned back to prioritizing face-to-face services, we reached out to our volunteers for support – and Karen stepped up to conduct in-person interview workshops at our Santa Monica center.
“The interview workshop has been a great opportunity to interact. People are more open to sharing. It’s a different dynamic [than being online].”
One of Karen’s favorite parts about facilitating the workshops is receiving feedback from our clients on the curriculum she can share with Chrysalis staff. For example, SB731, the bill that seals felony records after a certain number of years, needed to be added to the training as the bill finally took effect on July 1, 2023. Together with staff, clients, and volunteers, we are able to make our workshops more informative and beneficial for all.
“I really enjoy the experience of facilitating something and connecting people who wouldn’t have otherwise met.”
Karen recalls a memory when a client shared his experience of going into an interview. He arrived on time and greeted the receptionist, who told him to wait. As a surprise to him, it turned out that the receptionist was his interviewer! From this story, Karen shares that it’s always important to treat everyone with kindness and respect.
Outside of volunteering, Karen enjoys reading and is a full-time data scientist, helping shape education policies.
Thank you to Karen and our many volunteers across Southern California helping Chrysalis clients find, prepare for, and retain jobs!