Alicia Murphy came to Goodwill Industries of Fort Worth seeking her GED to provide new opportunities for her family. A young mother of two children, Alicia had dropped out of high school when she was 17 and had held several jobs including warehouse and waitressing positions, but what she really wanted was financial stability. Working in a warehouse was draining her both mentally and physically— and she knew she needed to further her education in order to kick-start her career. Alicia had the drive to succeed, but like many people lacking education and work experience, she felt lost. She strived for independence, financial stability, and her own place to live.
Knowing that she could not do this without first qualifying for higher wage jobs, Alicia made the decision to go back to school and earn her high school equivalency. In December 2018, the Texas Workforce Solutions for Tarrant County referred Alicia to E-Squared, a program designed to provide young adults age 16-24 who have dropped out of high school the chance to obtain their high school equivalency while earning a paycheck at the same time.
Through the E-Squared program she found her first step to success, earning her high school equivalency in April 2019, but her story doesn’t end there.
When Alicia discovered that Goodwill Fort Worth’s career school, North Texas Institute (NTI), offered courses and certification opportunities in the medical industry, she quickly enrolled, determined to start a career in the healthcare industry. In June 2019, Alicia enrolled in the Medical Front Office Assistant program, and by November 2019 she had passed her national certification exam. To make herself even more employable in the field, Alicia also enrolled in the Medical Billing & Coding program in January 2020, all while working a full-time job as a Dock Worker with Goodwill. Later that year, Alicia successfully completed the program and passed her national exam.
Upon completing both credentials, Alicia faced some challenges finding a job placement in the healthcare industry. This was not for a lack of trying, but due to a lack of job experience in the healthcare industry. She did not let this deter her and worked with her Business Developer to update her resume, complete job readiness training, and participate in mock interviews. Finally, in November 2020, Alicia landed a 3-month internship with the City of Arlington. While not health-industry related, Alicia knew this opportunity would still be extremely beneficial and provide the experience of working in an office environment.
A week before her internship ended, Alicia called her business developer at Goodwill Fort Worth stating that she was ready to start her job search again and find something in the healthcare field. Determined, Alicia came back to Goodwill to update her resume and immediately begin filling out job applications. In February 2021, her determination paid off and she began a full-time position as a General Clerk with the Tarrant County Health Department making more than $15 per hour. Alicia is extremely grateful to Goodwill Fort Worth for helping her earn the skills she needed to find a job that will provide the financial stability she sought.
This article was adapted from the Goodwill Industries of Fort Worth blog. Watch Alicia’s video to hear her share more about when her job search finally turned around and what it means to have uncovered her life’s passion.
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