My Story: Tieausha Thomas

I was raised by my single mother (one of five children) who struggled with drug addiction. What can I say? Life was extremely hard. We always seemed to lack the basic necessities. By the time I was five years old, I had been sexually abused and also placed in the foster care system. My mother realized that she was not capable of raising five children. The time came when I had to be separated from my brothers and sent to live with my father and his wife in a small rural town in Louisiana.

My father was very strict and abusive. Eventually I was taken out of my father’s care when my Spanish teacher reported the bruises she saw. So there I was in another foster home. I ran away and decided to make it on my own. My mother heard I had run away and invited me to move back to California.

My fantasies of a better life were shattered once I arrived to an overcrowded one bedroom apartment. I realized living conditions hadn’t changed much so I started planning for a way out. Things got worse when my mother moved to Seattle and I was left with her husband and my sister who I hardly knew.

Shortly after, I miscarried a baby by my high school boyfriend and had to leave school again. After too many “accidental” hits and shoves I realized I was in an abusive relationship. It took me seven years, two children and one wedding ring later to finally leave, but I did! With nothing to lose I moved to Atlanta, GA in hopes of starting a new life.

Things were looking up. I was making money and met a guy that I thought was great, but I quickly recognized the abuse and decided to leave. I moved to Salem, OR and that’s when I came into the Goodwill Job Connection for help. I was quickly connected with an employment specialist named Deb. We clicked right away! Deb was witty, worked fast, and really took time to make sure I got the job that fit me best.

I landed the job I wanted at Wells Fargo where I received a promotion and was recognized as one of the top 20 tellers. Deb is an inspiration, a mentor and a friend. Goodwill helped me get on my feet and start a new life. I’ve been blessed to be invited to speak at an alternative school, radio station and to a youth group and Goodwill and Deb are a part of my journey!