How I Helped a Guy Find his Tribe on St. Patrick's Day

by Maria Scileppi

 Maria Scileppi is the Founding Director of 72U, a creative residency at the intersection of art, technology and storytelling. Her work has been featured in Mashable, Fast.Co.Create, NOTCOT, PSFK, Esquire and L.A. Weekly, and was recently honored as one of Adweek's 30 Star Players at US Agencies 2015

Maria Scileppi is the Founding Director of 72U, a creative residency at the intersection of art, technology and storytelling. Her work has been featured in Mashable, Fast.Co.Create, NOTCOT, PSFK, Esquire and L.A. Weekly, and was recently honored as one of Adweek's 30 Star Players at US Agencies 2015

My friend was hosting an event at a surfer lifestyle store in Venice, California. I showed up mostly to support her, plus fulfill my social quota, but when I arrived, I was immediately glad I did. An all-girl band named Deap Valley was playing a set. They were amazing; the drummer was 81/2 months pregnant. A guy approached me with familiarity. We met in Chicago, he said, and I gave him his favorite St. Patrick’s Day ever. He was good-looking younger guy. I didn’t recognize him. 

He told me his memory: We met four years ago at a multi cultural job fair. I was the Director of the Chicago Portfolio School at the time, so I was in the job booth talking to students about career paths in commercial art. He wandered up, as college seniors do, and after a short chat I invited him to come check out a class that night. He arrived promptly and I introduced him to the instructor, then left.

I didn't remember this, nor did I remember hearing anything about the outcome afterwards.

Four years and 2000 miles later, here he was at a surfer lifestyle shop, remembering me. Apparently, that night at the Chicago Portfolio School was one of the best nights of his life. He befriended everyone instantly and, since it was St. Patrick’s Day, they all went out after class. In that one day, he said, he made many close friends. He never ended up enrolling in the school. 

I just love the serendipity of life. What are the chances our paths would cross again, and what are the chances we'd recognize each other? Left up to me, we would have missed this moment of connection. 

Best part of the story? His name was Chance.