My Story: Antoinette Watson

My life fell apart when my job suddenly ended and the unexpected death of my mother made everything seem worse. Everything that I had worked so hard to achieve had just slipped away. This was the lowest point in my life and I felt I had nothing to live for.

I fell into a deep depression and started to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol which led to legal issues and heartache. I knew at that point I had to make a change.

I came to Goodwill Industries of Southwestern Michigan (Kalamazoo) through the Michigan Rehabilitation Services HIRE program where I was assigned a team of people to help me find employment and get my life back on track.

At first I was hesitant because I did not know what to expect, but everyone was so supportive. They believed in me when I did not believe in myself. After working for a short period of time I began to get my confidence back and realized that my life was not over and I still had so much to live for. The Goodwill staff made me realize that I still had the same work ethics and experience that had made me successful in the past.

Then, the most amazing thing happened; I became part of the Goodwill family and was able to pay it forward. I was given the opportunity to work with individuals such as myself to become self-sufficient and make a better life. This has been a very rewarding experience for me.

So, not only did I obtain a good job with a bright future, but I got my dignity back. Priceless!