Being Responsive


Dear TRENDS Diary - 

My name is David Breña (he/him) and I work for Boulder County Public Health’s OASOS program, which offers positive support and fun for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex and asexual (LGBTQIA+) youth. I also co-facilitate the Saint Vrain Valley Safe Schools Coalition with Mandy Blumreich. Saint Vrain Valley Safe Schools Coalition (SVVSSC) is important to me because it’s a space in which community members come together to seek solutions to the issues impacting LGBTQIA+ youth in our area.

As a transgender immigrant man, I’ve experienced prejudice, discrimination, and violence in my communities. I’ve also experienced the healing power of community support and community organizing. When I can navigate systems that already have figured out strategies to support transgender people, I feel supported because I know that those changes were made by people who advocated to make them happen. I want LGBTQIA+ youth in our school district to also experience that community support.


Dear TRENDS Diary -

The pandemic and the ongoing surge in real-estate values have conspired to make this an especially precarious time for single parents in Boulder County. 

The average annual salary it takes to buy a house in Colorado is now a little over $100,000. It’s almost impossible for a single parent to make that kind of income. 

Single-parent families in Boulder County are five times more likely to live in poverty than married couples with children. All of your everyday challenges are compounded when you are mother, father and taxi all in one. 

At PEARL, the question is not, “What can we do for you?” It is, “What do you need from us to achieve self-empowerment and self-sufficiency?” 

Here's how we help: Once a month, we partner with local mechanics who perform oil changes and safety checks on your cars. When people donate their cars to us, we fix them up and get them out to single parents in need. 

In specific response to COVID, we'll give you a hand paying for your groceries or rent or utility bills. 


Dear TRENDS Diary - 

I have been narrating audiobooks since 2008, and, since the pandemic, have been doing so in my home recording studio out of my basement in Longmont. So far, I have recorded more than 700 audiobooks, predominantly for the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS). 

While some of the titles I've recorded have been well-known classics like "To Kill a Mockingbird" or highly-lauded books like “A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing,” most of the books I record are lesser-known and not available in the commercial audiobooks market. 

Many NLS listeners are seniors who've lost their sight later in life and haven't learned to read Braille – so this NLS service is the only way for them to access a huge number of books. (I'm told the NLS also takes requests!) 

The service is free to anyone with a medical need for it. To learn how to apply, call the NLS at 1-888-657-7323.