In Aesop’s fable “The Lion and the Mouse,” the majestic beast of the jungle opened his jaws to swallow an irritable mouse he caught in his paws. However, the fast-thinking rodent negotiated for his life by offering to help him one day. The lion, with all the jungle at his disposal, chuckled at the thought and released him.

We all know that the mouse soon thereafter saved the lion by gnawing through his captive ropes. You can imagine the mouse, in a Disney-esque way, delivering his aphoristic last line, his little paws on his hip, his little snout turned up into the air, a bit of blue twine placed around his belly by the animators as he dramatically proclaimed: “Was I not right? Little friends may prove a great help.”

About a month ago, an entrepreneurial start-up friend who I’ve known since the beginning of EnCircle Technologies introduced me to a CRM business owner in Wisconsin. She, in turn, gave EnCircle some data manipulation work to do under contract.

Yesterday I watched one of our former students sit at his computer with database and Excel spreadsheet open. He sat for hours, making decisions, doing routine work both of which the job required.

This particular young man has a story — of loss, of cancer, of autism, of an inability to find work with an information technology degree. He is a delightful person but doesn’t fit some outward standard modes. Now that he is not looking for a role through another agency, it’s EnCircle’s turn to help him find steady part-time or full-time tech work (stay tuned).

But, for now, we operate together — he as a person, we as an organization — smallish, without the jungle (lots of money) at our disposal to present like the lion.

But, we are helping: the company in Wisconsin, the family who drove in from St. Louis to see our classes, the worried, worn-out local mother seeking a place for her brilliant son. We are gnawing at ropes of captivity: the high unemployment rate of individuals with autism; the despair that comes from social isolation; the soft skills that need to accompany the hard skills.

My aforementioned student continues to learn programming on his own, continues to smile and say positive things like: “It’s good to see you.” “Your birthday is the same as [celebrity].” “I am happy to be here.” He is overall, despite all, such a wonderful person with gifts and skills.

If you or your company identifies with being the mouse, own it. Being a lion isn’t a bad thing either — although beware the vulnerable ego.

For us, small though we are at EnCircle Technologies, how can we prove a great help to your company? We are capable and persistent. We are building more and more capacity. We are available for contracts. Your mission and our mission can mesh to work together.

Therefore, call me if you need an excellent worker or a job in web development, data entry/manipulation, or video editing.

Working together, positive changes can happen.

Sincerely,

Teri Walden, April 21st 2017

To contact me, inbox or e-mail me at teri.walden@encircletech.org

To donate to EnCircle Technologies, a 501c3, go to www.encircletech.org/donate

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