My Story: Victoria Kaufman

Victoria Kaufman is a freshman engineering major with a bright future ahead of her. She’s the daughter of immigrant parents who came to the U.S. as refugees from Russia.

Victoria always knew she would eventually go to college, but she needed some help. Both of Victoria’s parents were refugees from Belarus, and had worked whatever jobs they could get to provide for their family. Once it came time to go to college, Victoria and her older sister needed some guidance and this is where Goodwill® came in!

“When college came around, my parents, my sisters and me, we didn’t know much,” she said.

Victoria enrolled in Goodwill Industry of Denver’s Summer Bridge program which is designed to support low income and first-generation college students. The program pairs students with a mentor and offers workshops on registering for classes, time management and relationships with roommates. One hundred percent of Summer Bridge students complete their first year of college. “It makes you feel more confident and less nervous for college because you get advice from others that have been there,” said Victoria.

Within the Summer Bridge program, Victoria took advantage of every opportunity available to her. She was partnered with a professional mentor who she continues to meet with regularly and opted into every excursion and community engagement project.

Victoria was able to build the skills needed to handle the social and academic aspects of college and to also set herself up for success for the next four years!

When you donate and shop at your local Goodwill, you help individuals like Victoria reach their full potential through the power of work. In fact, 87 cents of every dollar you spend in our retail stores and through® 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