By ProAct Case Coordinator Devin Klein
Growing up, I had always taken an interest in assisting my classmates with disabilities when attending school, and after spending some time working in a group home in Duluth, I was excited at the opportunity to interview for a job at ProAct. I learned about it through my brother, who worked here at the time.
Starting out in job placement
Starting as a vocational specialist in the summer of 2013, my job was primarily focused on working with a wide range of individuals with different backgrounds. I would assist in training them at various work sites in different fields such as retail, clerical, and even a doggy daycare. After a few weeks of working with and evaluating how well they did, I would then meet with the individual and their team to discuss and recommend next steps to find a job in the community. Few things have been as satisfying as seeing someone go from uncertainty about work, to eventually finding and loving an independent job.
Switching to day services
I eventually decided that I wanted to become more involved in the day program aspects of ProAct and requested a transfer to ProAct’s DT&H program, where I hoped to begin as a day program instructor. The transition went very smoothly, and my supervisor was happy to introduce me to the program coordinator in that department.
Positive environment, freedom to create, explore together
The change from work-focused programs to life-enrichment classes was certainly a big one and I was impressed by how positive the environment was. I got to meet so many individuals who were enthusiastic. They started each day happy to see their friends and participate in various classes. Going on many community outings and having the freedom to teach classes I created, like comic book club, made each day interesting and enjoyable. I have had the opportunity to volunteer, go to events and museums, and even just relax or play games at a park- all with some amazing individuals.
Doing more, continued learning, fulfillment
After a few years I again wanted to do more, and I applied to become a case coordinator for our day program. I learned a lot about the coordination and planning it takes to provide services to our participants, and really got to know both them and their teams better. It’s been so fulfilling to be the one my participants look to when they have questions about their day, or even when they just have some good news that they want to share. Some days can be busy, but I have the privilege of going home satisfied that I’ve made a very real, positive difference in so many people’s lives. I have a very special group of people who look forward to seeing me each day.
I’ve been with ProAct, Inc. for nearly 10 years and can’t imagine working anywhere else. I feel incredibly lucky to have met so many lovely people and look forward to many more years with ProAct!
[There are many career opportunities with ProAct at several locations and the nonprofit is offering bonuses to new hires. Click here to learn more.]