My Story: Nadia Patterson

What brought you to Goodwill?
I moved from New York to North Carolina as a single mother with three children. I didn’t have a high school diploma or general educational development (GED) certificate and was at a low point in my life. I was in between jobs and needed something stable to provide for myself and my children. I had heard about the Job Connection at Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont (Charlotte, NC), so in August 2013, I went in to try and get back on track.

Who have you worked most closely with, and how have they helped you progress toward your goals?
I worked closely with Goodwill Career Development Specialist Tracy Costner, who referred me to a GED class offered by the Gaston County Literacy Program. I knew getting my GED was where I needed to start and pick back up where I left off with my education, so I signed up that same day.

I attended classes every day and received my GED after just two months, in December 2013. I continued visiting the Job Connection to search for jobs, but I knew I needed to further my education to pursue my dream of working in the medical field. With the continued support of Goodwill staff, I enrolled in Kaplan College in Charlotte while working as a personal care aide at night.

Despite many hard days of school and work, I graduated in December 2014 with a registered medical assistant diploma. A month later, as I was applying for a cashier position at Walmart Neighborhood Market, I stopped a Toiya Holbrook, a pharmacist who was walking by, and asked for help on the application.

Toiya was surprised that with my credentials I was applying for a cashier position and wanted me to be on her pharmacy team. That same month, Walmart hired me as a pharmacy technician, and in March 2015, I was named the Customer Service Champion of the Month.

What have been some of your biggest accomplishments since you worked with Goodwill?

In May 2015, the Goodwill gave me one of three GoodWork! Awards at its annual Cornerstone Celebration.

Overall, how has your experience with Goodwill made an impact on your life?

If it wasn’t for Goodwill, I wouldn’t know where I would be.

What was one of the most important lessons you’ve learned?

It makes it even more special, to know that not only does God see, but so do others. And that they recognize all the hard work, blood, sweat and tears that it has cost me to get to this point in my life with all that I’ve been through.

What advice do you have for anyone going through a similar situation?

It is never too late to pursue your dreams. Never give up on yourself, because with God, and some guts, you can do anything He calls you to do. I always encourage people that they can do it. Don’t give up, it’s not the end of the world. Because I was that person at one point.