Meet our Support Specialist, Theresa Hayes

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A Denver native, Theresa has brought both expertise and enthusiasm to the Mi Casa Career Team.  Learn about her love of travel and her passion for community development—plus her favorite local pizza joint!

How did you first hear about Mi Casa?
Growing up in Denver, I remember hearing about Mi Casa but not really understanding all that they did.  I became a bit more familiar with the scope of the organization’s work during my time at the Graduate School of Social Work at DU.

What made you interested in working for Mi Casa?
I was really drawn to Mi Casa because of the holistic approach to economic advancement of individuals, families, and the community and the strong history it has in the Denver area.  I love working with individual participants but also feeling like we are joining participants in effecting larger social change.  Plus, the Career Team (and everyone else at Mi Casa who I’ve since met) is AWESOME!

Describe your job responsibilities at Mi Casa:
In many ways, I’m still figuring out my responsibilities and rolling with the constant change of the Career Development programs.  My primary responsibility is providing supportive services to participants in the Customer Service and Bilingual Bank Teller training programs, beginning before orientation, through the training program, job search, and after a participant gains employment.  While other members of the Career Team focus more on technical job skills and the professional side of job readiness, I support participants with the personal aspects of job readiness.

Where is your hometown?
Denver (and proud of it!)

Where have you traveled?
I love to travel!  I studied abroad in college in Denmark and El Salvador, and also spent some time living in Bolivia.  I was very fortunate to travel to several places throughout Europe, Central, and South America.

Where else have you worked and in what position?
In grad school, I was a Social Service Project intern at the Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network (RMIAN) and a Case Management intern with Work Options for Women (WOW).  At RMIAN, I supported adults who were detained in the immigration detention center in Aurora throughout their immigration case and WOW provided my first introduction into workforce development and job training programs.  Prior to grad school, I was a Volunteer Coordinator at Cabrini Green Legal Aid in Chicago as an AmeriCorps volunteer.

Describe yourself in 3 words.
Thoughtful, passionate, and caring.

What is your favorite restaurant in Denver and why?
I think it would have to be Bonnie Brae Tavern because I love a good pizza, and I have so many childhood (and recent!) memories going there with family and friends.

What are your hobbies/favorite pastimes?
Brunch, skeeball, hiking, reading, finding and occasionally finishing Pintrest craft projects, being an aunt, traveling, happy hours, and watching Broncos football!

Do you volunteer anywhere in the community?
I’m still adjusting to my work schedule, so I haven’t been volunteering as much recently as I’d like to.  I do stay connected to area nonprofits that I’ve known and supported for a long time, such as EarthLinks and the Women’s Bean Project.  Before I started working at Mi Casa, I was volunteering with the Denver District Attorney’s office.

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