Goodwill Athlete Named Local ‘Extraordinary Person of the Year’

Goodwill Columbus Athlete Jeff BrewerJeff Brewer, a program participant at Goodwill Columbus (OH), was recently named the agency’s first “Extraordinary Person of the Year” at an agency luncheon.

The award recognizes an individual with disabilities or other challenges who participates in one of Goodwill’s programs and whose accomplishments have inspired and set examples for others who are starting their own journeys to build independence, quality of life and work opportunities at Goodwill®.

Following the loss of both of his parents, Brewer, who has developmental disabilities, worked diligently to qualify for the 2011 Special Olympics World Games.

With the support of Goodwill Columbus athletic programs and staff members, Brewer traveled to Athens, Greece, this summer to represent the U.S.A. in global track and field events. He took home a gold medal after placing first in the 400-meter dash, achieving his best personal time of 1:01 and becoming a world champion in the process.

“The things I have done at Goodwill and with Special Olympics have helped me to be more outgoing, develop a sense of accomplishment and take pride in doing my best while working toward this goal,” Brewer said.

The lunch event, which also recognized the accomplishments of three additional program participants at Goodwill Columbus, raised more than $90,000 to support Goodwill’s job training and support services in the community.

“Publically recognizing one extraordinary person this year was a historical first for us at Goodwill Columbus,” said Margie Pizzuti, the Goodwill’s president and CEO. “We were so excited about putting the limelight on individuals with disabilities that participate in our programs and successfully improve their independence, work opportunities and quality of life.”

Hear more of Jeff’s story in the video below.