Originally from Atlanta, Meghan Clark relocated to Charlotte after the birth of her daughter to be closer to family. Meghan loves cooking, and had worked in the restaurant industry for most of her career, but when a friend referred her to the free job training programs at the Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont Opportunity Campus (GOC), Meghan embraced the opportunity to make a change.
“I was really excited and I just decided to go for it, which is not typical of me,” she said. “I was just like, I’ve got to try something different!” She decided to jump right in – on the same day she visited the GOC, she signed up for the Customer, Administrative and Business Services (CABS) training course. “If I was going to make this happen, I had to take some big risks, and I got some big rewards,” she said. On the last day of her CABS course, Emily Scott, Sr. Development & Training Specialist, asked for Meghan’s phone number, saying that she may have a temporary job opportunity with Goodwill University (Goodwill U). The next day, Emily called, and the next week, Meghan was working in Goodwill U.
On the Goodwill U team, Meghan gained a range of new skills and was ready to look for the next opportunity when this assignment ended. As luck would have it, a team member in Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont’s Basic Needs department welcomed her baby right as Meghan’s assignment was set to end. Rachel Leach, Job Resource Center Supervisor, asked Meghan to cover this newly opened position while the woman was on maternity leave. In this temporary role, Meghan learned a lot about the services offered by Goodwill® and our partner organizations such as Loaves and Fishes and Crisis Assistance Ministry. To say Meghan was happy to work for on another assignment with Goodwill may be an understatement.
“I really love being here. I love what Goodwill stands for, I love what they do for people,” she said. “I’ve always felt like it was something I could relate to from a personal perspective since I know what it’s like to not be happy with your job, not feel like you’re making the money you need to support yourself and your family, and need a new direction. So if I can be part of other people’s journeys that I went on, I’m all for it.”
It’s clear she enjoyed her time with Goodwill, because Meghan just transitioned into her third role with Goodwill, this time as a full-time Client Navigator! Meghan now helps new clients register with Client Track and figure out what services would best help them achieve their goals. Meghan’s favorite thing about working at Goodwill is how supportive everyone has been. “Coming from the restaurant industry – it’s really competitive. Good restaurant jobs are hard to find and there are a lot of people who don’t want to work in the restaurant industry, so you work with people who aren’t as passionate,” she said. “I still love cooking, but here, it’s been completely different. I feel like anytime I do something well, everyone is super supportive and happy for me. I feel like I’ve found a new little family!”
Meghan just started coursework at Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC) toward an Associate’s degree in nonprofit management. Her sights are set on completing that degree, earning a Bachelor’s degree from UNC Pembroke, and then a Master’s degree from UNC Charlotte. “I definitely feel like I’ve found my calling, and that this is where I need to stay, in nonprofit,” she said. “I’m still amazed at how everything fell in line.”
When you donate and shop at your local Goodwill, you help individuals like Meghan reach their full potential through the power of work. In fact, 87 cents of every dollar you spend in our retail stores and through shopgoodwill.com® and other e-commerce platforms is reinvested in your community to create employment placement, job training and career support services. Find the location closest to you or make a monetary donation to show your support
Note: As originally posted on Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont.