Meet the Social Development Commission (SDC)’s Career Services Manager Shyrida Lane:
How long have you worked at SDC?
One year and seven months.
What do you do at SDC? Tell us how it helps in the war against poverty.
As the Career Services Program Manager, I lead an amazing team of individuals who are committed to helping men and women reach their highest potential.
We achieve this by offering quality, pre-apprenticeship programs currently in construction and culinary arts. Our goal is to maximize and diversify career tracks to create opportunities for those seeking other careers like manufacturing through our Phoenix Project.
The plan is to create a remarkable experience that not only educates, but connects individuals to life balancing resources that change their narrative while they are still enrolled!
Poverty can be debilitating. We are committed to being advocates for those in need. As an integral part of SDC’s integrative system that includes healthy internal partnerships and teamwork, we are fortunate to see lives actively changing.
In addition to this, our newest project SDC Food Bank housed at the northwest facility will create access to people who need help in Milwaukee’s far northwest side. Using this platform and a lot of teamwork we have the ability to assess and assist individuals while combating hunger.
What motivates you? Why do you do this work?
I’m motivated by people, people who need help!
I want to be that change they seek, that resource, that service, the person who hears and sees them. I was once in their shoes and understand the power of advocacy and good resources.
Describe a time when you felt like your work at SDC made a difference in someone’s life.
We had a student that was experiencing some personal issues that affected his performance, attendance and behavior. He had gotten to the point where his frustrations became outbursts. He was combative and on the verge of dismissal from the program. Staff brought his escalating behavior to my attention and alerted security.
I asked to speak to him privately to understand why he was upset and ready to throw it all away. The young man agreed to see me, walked into my office with all guards up. I simply asked, “How can I help?” he began crying and pouring out loud that seemed too much to bear.
He was battling his own thoughts to just give up. His family recently became homeless. He had a baby on the way and small child to care for while working a minimum wage job and all while attending classes at SDC.
He felt as if the walls were closing in on him, together we knocked those walls down. He said, “I never talked to anybody like this, I don’t like telling my business, thank you.”
I had only said a few words to him, but I was emotionally present and actively listening so he understood that I was here for him at this moment.
After he said all he had to say, this student wanted to return to class so he wouldn’t miss anything. I walked him to his class, as he smiled ear to ear, temporarily free from the burdens he carried.
Later his instructor stated he had a great day until the end. This is what revives me when I’m depleted.
This is my why!
Tell us something people don’t know about you.
My favorite color is pink.
I love seafood and long days at the beach.
I sometimes work on cars as a hobby.
I love to golf.
I used to drive semi-trucks.
I’m a Public Alli alum.
I have four kids and nine grandchildren.
I listen to music to balance my energy and I’m currently writing a book about my life’s journey.
My dream vacation is to travel the world on a cruise ship for one year.
Most recent book read?
Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
Train Wreck by James Arthur
Favorite local restaurant?
As of recently Carson’s for their Caesar salad with Blackened Salmon, OMG!!!!
Exploring the world’s most beautiful beaches.