Meet Evan! Evan is a second time Career Pathways participant who came to Gold Crown Foundation (GCF) in 2021 when he was a junior at an alternative credit recovery school in Jefferson County. During his high school years, Evan often struggled in a traditional learning environment. While he has an incredible vocabulary and is a high-level problem solver, Evan will be the first to tell you that sitting at a computer for any length of time causes him anxiety. Uncertain about what professional path he would go down, he took several career interest surveys, commonly resulting with ‘Tech Support’. While this career path would allow him to utilize his problem solving skills, it would also put him in an office most hours of the day and it did not feel right.
After arriving early to class one day, Evan had the chance to just “chill and chat” with a member of GCF’s team. When asked to share an important and happy memory from his childhood, he smiled and said, “Oh that is easy, it’s the day we went hiking when I was six”. Having very few other experiences in the outdoor world, Evan really zoned in on how free and relaxed he felt that day in that environment. He realized that being in nature alleviated his anxiety. “How then,” his GCF Mentor asked, “can we imagine a career that brings you there? What professions might be worth pursuing that get you out of an office, away from a computer and into the world that brings you joy?” Colorado has a plethora of worthy professions centered on environmentalism, conservation and the natural sciences. Together, they started exploring those options.
Evan graduated in December 2022 and enrolled in our Career Pathways program for a second time to help guide that process. Through our trusted partnerships in the community, Evan landed the internship of his dreams at Lakewood Open Space. The incredible team there built a schedule rotation for him, allowing him to work intensely within each of their departments. He gained entry-level experience with the Natural Resources, Bear Creek Maintenance, and Urban Parks departments. It was intensive indeed, as he finished his entire 120-hour internship in just 4.5 weeks. However, by starting his internship in April, he was available for hire by mid-May as a Bear Creek Lake Park Maintenance Laborer where he will be working through the rest of the season. With the guidance and insight of his Natural Resource Specialist boss, and Parks Maintenance supervisor, Evan is honing in on what will come next, likely earning a degree in one of the natural sciences to solidify a career in the outdoors.
We are very excited about what the future has in store for Evan. We believe he is capable of great things, simple things, and things that make him happy and afford him the life he wants to live. Whatever he does, we know one thing for sure; Evan will always have the mentorship and support of the GCF team. It is safe to say the Career Pathways Program was integral in “preparing kids (like Evan) for the game of life.” Once a Clubhouse kid, always a Clubhouse kid.