About 10 years before coming to the city of Memphis, I was living in South Florida. As a younger man, my life was out of control. I was making bad life choices and bad decisions. I was shot three different times before the age of 24. Due to violence, drugs and alcohol, I was failing in my education and in my marriage.
I realized that major changes were needed. I packed my bags and moved to Memphis, TN. I bounced around from job to job trying to find out what a good fit would be for me. I finally landed a job at a welding company. After a year of working as a laborer, coming in early and working late to practice, I was promoted to welder. For the next seven years I worked at that job that seemed tailor made just for me.
Then one day I got sick. I went to the doctor and found out that I had a form of cancer that causes severe inflammation. This caused me to have to stop welding and lose the job I loved. This shock sent me back to drinking and drug use. I became very angry and bitter about my life at that point.
Not being able to deal with the situation and the alcohol anymore, my wife asked me to leave. With nowhere to go, I decided to check myself into a treatment facility and asked God to direct my path from that point.
After treatment, I got my life together, went back to school and got my GED. I got a small apartment and started looking for a job. While shopping for my apartment at Goodwill, I ran into the assistant manager and asked him if they were hiring. I was told to fill out an application.
This was the start of my journey with Goodwill. It was one of the best decisions I had ever made in my life and the best opportunity ever given to me. This job gave me stability and helped my family to reunite. I started out as a donor greeter and have worked my way up the ladder. Now I am a team leader coach (store manager) of one of the largest stores in our network.
None of this would have been possible without the management team at Memphis Goodwill. My first manager saw my work ethic and dedication and promoted me to keyholder. My next manager promoted me to assistant team leader (assistant store manager). Our executive vice president saw something in me and promoted me to team leader coach. His continued vision and foresight are an inspiration to me, and I really appreciate him.
My time at Memphis Goodwill has been challenging and very rewarding. Today I am a better man, husband and father thanks to God’s guidance and Goodwill.