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Headshot of William Thigpen
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Headshot of William Thigpen

My Story: Bill Thigpen


After five years of battling breast cancer, my wife  passed away in December of 2008.  Six weeks later, I was laid off. I was having a tough time getting up in the morning and having ambition to do anything, but at the time, I still had two sons in college and a 16-year old daughter to support.

I was standing in the unemployment line out in Chester County, PA, when I was approached by a member of Goodwill® Keystone Area’s Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) who told me to talk to the case manager, Dorothy Marshall. I told her I really wanted to get into either public service or nonprofit work.

Bill Thigpen performs office work at Goodwill Keystone Area.

Bill Thigpen performs office work at Goodwill Keystone Area.

She got a position for me as her actual assistant. I worked with new SCSEP participants and host agencies. I took the participants and taught them how to use the computer, how to search for a job, and eventually placed them in positions with about 30-40 nonprofit organizations in Chester County. She did a phenomenal job of teaching me how to work with nonprofit agencies and complete the paperwork that had to be done.

After about nine months, one of the host agencies had a position opening up as the director for one of their main offices. I interviewed for the job. They liked me and I started in April 2009. SCSEP was the most perfect thing that has happened to me, and I am looking forward to helping others.

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  • Debbie Edmonds
    April 27th, 2010 at 12:06 am

    What a remarkable story Bill!    I am so glad that Dorothy provided you with the opportunity to train in the SCSEP in a training position that allowed you to find a job in the field that interested you.    Thank you for sharing a very personal time of your life with us, and sharing your success also.  Good luck with your career!

  • marge parry
    April 27th, 2010 at 11:57 pm

    Hi, I live in Brandon, Florida and I myself is having a very hard time finding a job.  I have a few health problems but not bad enough to keep me from work. I have to have a job where I cannot be standing 8 hours a day.  I read Bill’s story and was interested in the SCSEP.  Thank you Bill for sharing your story with us.  It’s an inspiration and now I have some hope that I too, soon, will get a job.
    Please e-mail me if you have some ideas for me here in the Tampa/Brandon area.

  • - GII Online Content Manager
    April 28th, 2010 at 1:58 am
    Jenni B. Baker

    Marge — here is the list of states in which Goodwill currently offers SCSEP services: http://www.goodwill.org/uncategorized/goodwill-scsep-locations/ 

    However, SCSEP services are available in every county of the United States. If you do not live in one of the areas where Goodwill operates the program, call (877) 872-5627 or use the American Service Locator (http://servicelocator.org/ ) to find your local SCSEP provider.

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