Tarvae Banks Finds Discovery at Lifeworks

Written by Iqra Rabbani, career placement counselor

After graduating school, Tarvae Banks came to Lifeworks hoping to find a pathway to employment that could serve as the launching point of his career. Being a young career seeker is not easy and Tarvae had many challenges to face, such as deciding on a field that he was passionate about before landing a job.

Lifeworks is here to help navigate those challenges and Tarvae started the Discovery Process, a non-traditional and community-based approach to guide in the development of a customized job, in September of 2018. As required to utilize the Discovery Process, Tarvae was referred to us through his Vocational Rehabilitation program. I was fortunate enough to work with him through seven stages of development from initial home visits to developing an individualized career plan.

Tarvae is very social and talented. During this process of discovery I spend a lot of time with Tarvae to get to know him better.

Our first meeting was at his home, he introduced me to his cat and gave a tour of his room where he has a great collection of video games. He put on his favorite car racing game and even let me have a turn. He is very responsible and takes good care of his pets. He also showed me his movie collection and discussed his favorite movies.

For our second meeting we went to a coffee shop and Tarvae taught me how to play chess. He is a skilled player and showed off his strategy.

I also visited him at his bowling games, Tarvae loves bowling with his friends, and has won serval trophies (often scoring well over 200!) that are displayed in his room.

We also visited the library, where he showed me how he can operate computers and use the internet. We also toured Arc Value Village where Tarvae worked before. He showed me what he use to do there, introduced me to his former co-workers and the manager. We had a discussion with the manager regarding Tarvae’s strengths, work ethic, and we had a conversation about future opportunities at Arc for Tarvae.

We also visited his old school, Focus Beyond. Tarvae gave me a very detailed tour, introduced me to his friends, teachers, and showed me his classroom with some of the projects that he completed.

We also went to an art exhibition and he showed great interest in the exhibition and enjoyed discussing various artists and frequently asked questions regarding the art that was displayed. Another place we visited was Arlington library and we did an assessment that helped us choosing vocational themes for Tarvae. After making a list of vocational themes, we narrowed them down and finalized three vocation themes: stocking, production and retail.

We had an Information Tour and Interview at Level Up Games at South St. Paul. Tarvae did a great job at interacting with the manager who conducted the tour and interview. Tarvae complimented their store and mentioned to the manager that he would like to back with here with his mom.

Now, we have another visit scheduled with Goodwill. Tarvae can volunteer there for couple hours and can help them unloading boxes to get an idea of how the job works in real time.

After Tarvae finishes the Discovery Process, he will have a report to guide him toward finding a job that is personally meaningful in an area he has shown strength and success.

If you are interested in finding out more about the Discovery Process at Lifeworks, connect with your Voc Rehab counselor.

If you would like to learn more about pursuing employment with the support of Lifeworks, contact Susan Winterfeld Thomson at swinterfeld@lifeworks.org