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 love my job. I am the Natural History Program Specialist for Boulder County Parks & Open Space. Being an environmental educator is a great way to connect people to their natural surroundings, and help them realize we are a piece of something much larger. I work with over 100 Volunteer Naturalists to bring topics like geology, wildlife habitat, astronomy, ecosystem health, birds, and plants to people of all ages through interactive programs and hikes. All of our programs are free.


Dear TRENDS Diary -

Every major change I’ve made in my life, I’ve done in the context of a group of supportive women. I graduated from Emerge Colorado in June, a program whose goal is to get Democratic women to run for office and win. My Emerge classmates and coaches gave me the confidence, courage, and support I needed to consider running for Boulder City Council this November.

The Emerge program helped me unlearn internal misogyny and sexism to embrace the idea that power shows up in many ways. 

I grew up believing I could study and work in places that are made for men– in business, science, math, and politics– but only if I do it in a certain way. I now see I can show up to these spaces as my authentic self: a queer, Christian, unpretentious, audacious, scientist-mom-businesswoman. 

Emerge taught me I can best serve my community when I do not force myself into a box that limits my ability to lead. We can disrupt the ideas of what power looks like and who should be there and in the process create a more welcoming, inclusive community for all of us.


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.