Before coming to Goodwill Industries of the Greater East Bay, I was drug- and alcohol-dependent, going around in circles, and I spent a lot of time in and out of prison. I knew that I needed to change my life. There was something traumatic that happened in my life: my mother died, and it made me want to change. It made me stop using drugs, but it kept me addicted to the streets, until I decided that the streets were no longer there for me.
When I was on the train, I passed by a sign that said, “Goodwill: Job Placements Available Here.” That day that I saw that, I knew there was hope for me. When I walked in those doors, things changed. I felt self-worth. The first day I walked into Goodwill, there was a chance for me to be forgiven for what I have done. I felt like there was a chance for me to change. I felt like there were others like me.
After five promotions, I am now currently assistant director of plant operations. I am in charge of production and the logistics attached to the delivery to all the stores in Alameda County, but I also oversee the transportation department. Now I look at some of the people coming in, and I see myself. I want to help them just like somebody wanted to help me.
I place no limits on myself. People see great things in me, and I listen. I’m up for the challenge.