Ten years ago, I was a single mother with two kids living in low-income housing— no job, no car, no high school diploma, and no hope. Depression had taken a toll on me, and yes, I made mistakes. Like so many other people, I felt hopeless. Still, I was looking for work and sending applications in everywhere I could. Not having computer skills prevented me from applying to several jobs. Whenever I was told to go online, that was just another obstacle in my way.
Luckily, I had a friend tell me about Goodwill’s Work Adjustment Training, and how they help people to find the right job based on what they are good at. I realized that what I was trying was not working and I had to admit to myself that I needed help. I went to Goodwill for help and was soon placed in the WAT program. When classes started, I was nervous and scared. All those years of unemployment had crippled me. I did not think Goodwill could help me, and mostly I felt like a lost cause. However, my first day was nothing like I had imagined! I never knew Goodwill did anything other than sell used clothes and furniture. Every day that I returned to class, I learned a new skill.
They helped me to find confidence in myself and taught me how to write a resume. They showed me how to go above and beyond your job, and do it to the best of your ability. When I started the WAT program, I had no idea even how to turn on a computer. Since then, I have taken an introduction to computers class, which showed me all the basics, and have taken several computer classes to learn Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. I have learned that the more that I put into my career, the greater the outcome will be.
After completing the Work Adjustment Training, I applied for a part-time position as a Goodwill Retail Associate on the processing team and quickly demonstrated my strong work ethic and desire to advance up the ladder. In only a few months, I went from a part-time to full-time Retail Associate and earned all the benefits that helped me take care of my children. I had been preparing for the possibility of a promotion by taking every available class and educational workshop that I could fit into my schedule and when an opportunity opened for a School Recycling Coordinator and Recycle Center Administrative Assistant, my hard work paid off and I received the promotion! I absolutely love it here. I feel like I have a purpose.
Goodwill saw something in me that I did not see in myself and that helped me to become a reliable employee. Goodwill has been so amazing to me and I take pride in my job! I came looking for a job, and I found so much more. I have a career that I truly love and my family is so proud of me. This past year has been a wonderful year and I am so happy for all the opportunities they have given me. I don’t think of myself as a model for others, but I am happy if they listen to my story and find strength. I want them to have the opportunity for success that I have found at Goodwill.