My Goodwill Story: Dekota

As we commemorate Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month this March, it’s essential to recognize stories of inclusion, empowerment and the remarkable achievements of individuals like Dekota. His journey with Goodwill Industries of Arkansas exemplifies the transformative impact of providing opportunities and support to individuals with disabilities, reaffirming the importance of inclusivity in our communities. 

A Chance at Opportunity 

Dekota’s story began when his stepmom brought him to Goodwill Industries of Arkansas, recognizing his potential and seeking an opportunity for him to land his first job. With a disability and a desire to join the workforce, Dekota’s journey with Goodwill was not just about employment but about fostering independence and self-sufficiency. 

Seizing the Opportunity for Growth 

Enrolling in Goodwill’s program, Dekota expressed his aspiration to work at Goodwill, particularly through the Easter Seals Program which provides services for people with disabilities or special needs. With determination and support, Dekota navigated the application process and received help applying for the position he was ultimately hired for. Through tailored job training and onboarding sessions alongside the Store Manager, Dekota was equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to excel in his role. 

Embracing Success and Achievements 

For Dekota, landing his first job at Goodwill was a significant milestone and what he describes as his greatest accomplishment to date. The Store Manager and Assistant Manager have praised his dedication and work ethic, affirming his contributions to the team. Starting his new role as a Production Associate at the young age of 19, Dekota has embraced the opportunity to learn and grow. 

Empowerment Through Employment 

Dekota’s experience at Goodwill goes beyond just earning a paycheck; it’s about empowerment and independence. By being a productive employee, Dekota not only contributes to the success of the organization but also gains valuable skills and experiences that will benefit him in the long run. His ability to make his own money and be a part of a supportive work environment reaffirms the importance of creating inclusive opportunities for individuals of all abilities. 

A Testament to Passion and Purpose 

Dekota now says, “I love my job at Goodwill.” His enthusiasm and dedication serve as a testament to the transformative power of meaningful employment and the positive impact it can have on individuals with developmental disabilities. As we celebrate Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, let us continue to champion inclusion and create pathways for individuals like Dekota to thrive, ensuring that everyone can reach their full potential. 

Dekota Dorton