My name is Pachi McLeod. As the Hispanic Services Manager [at Goodwill Industries of Southern Rivers (Columbus GA)], I get to provide services for the community, but I also get to support the bilingual staff at their different locations, and I get to be a kind of the bridge between the Hispanics and non-Hispanics alike.
I’m originally from Dominican Republic. I got married at the end of 2011, but before that I was working for a ministry and then moved to Columbus. That’s where I became connected with Goodwill®.
I’ve been in the U.S. for about 10 years. I came because I wanted to work with the youth, and I remember [thinking], even though I was coming from a really well-known university and I graduated with honors, “I’m gonna have to get a job with the custodial team at the church so that my dad doesn’t have to send so much money to me every month.”
So I feel that I myself am a success story working with clients. The reason[s] why I feel like I can connect with clients, and with non-Hispanics as well, have to do with the experiences I’ve had myself.
You come to this country because you have a dream. It can be to study, like in my case, or it could be you’re looking for a better job. So you’re coming for different reasons then having to figure out who you are in this new culture.
I love, honestly, the connecting with people. I love our big events. I feel that it’s one of the reasons why I’m here. I remember times when it would become hard, being away from home, and when I just wanted to go back. I remember coming to work, and just thinking, “We have to do something great today. We have to do something worth being away from my family.” I feel that I’m getting to do that.
There were all these dreams and all these ideas and plans, but there wasn’t a place where I could see them come to life. That’s the biggest thing that Goodwill has given to me: just the space to be able to see what God can do, when there is somebody who wants to see him do something.
The biggest thing that we can do as an organization is just that: connecting people so that everyone can feel accepted and have their own place, and they can step into their destiny because they’ve come in contact with us.