My Story: Jeanne Najar-Marez

When Jeanne Najar-Marez applied to the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) at Goodwill Industries of New Mexico (Albuquerque), she was looking for a resource to assist her with job training and employment. She had been out of the workforce for several years and had dealt with illness, homelessness and substance abuse during that time. She was on the waiting list in Bernalillo County, NM, for several months before she was able to enroll into SCSEP.

When her application was pulled for enrollment, she was elated to get started, but lacked the necessary documentation to enroll. She had saved enough money to pay the fee to obtain her birth certificate, but she needed assistance to pay the fee for her state identification card. A SCSEP coordinator referred Najar-Marez to Albuquerque Healthcare for the Homeless, which paid for her state identification card. When her identification arrived, she was able to begin her enrollment. She was grateful that the coordinator had provided that resource for her.

During the pre-enrollment assessment, Najar-Marez shared that she had some restaurant experience and was interested in gaining experience with this skillset. When she began with SCSEP, she was placed at Barela’s Senior Center as a kitchen assistant to learn the skills she’d need to work in a restaurant environment. She was enthusiastic, positive and eager to contribute to the community. Her supervisor was impressed with her work ethic and her positive attitude. Najar-Marez established a good working relationship with patrons and her co-workers. Recently, she submitted an application with the City of Albuquerque to become a permanent employee at Barela’s Senior Center.

In addition to thriving in her work placement, Najar-Marez is recovering from her substance abuse. She has a place to live and potentially permanent employment with Barela’s Senior Center.

Goodwill® proudly participates in the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), a national employment and training program funded by the U.S. Department of Labor. A $20,971,372 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor provided 90 percent of the funding for Goodwill’s SCSEP programs in the program year 2018. Goodwills provided the remaining 10 percent through in-kind contributions worth $2,330,152.44. See for funding details. Albuquerque, NM – Goodwill Industries of New Mexico, Inc. received a sub-award of $1,431,892 and is contributing in-kind contributions valued at $165,977.56 to cover the remaining 10 percent of operational costs.