As Fahad looks back on his life, hindsight is 2020. “When I was younger, I was uneducated, so I made mistakes,” he recalls. “I never put a lot of thought towards the things that I did. I was making mistake after mistake without even realizing I was making them, and it came back to bite me.”
Eulalio Martinez traveled 1,500 miles to move to Wisconsin, but he did not have a job lined up to sustain him when he arrived. For several weeks, he lived in his truck before moving into a local homeless shelter. One day, he walked a block away to Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin’s Green Bay East Retail Store and Training Center, where he approached a career navigator named Dawn and asked for help. He said he was looking for someone to take a chance on him.
In February 2020, Stephanie Richardson enrolled in the pharmacy technician program at Goodwill Industries of the Chesapeake. Initially attending class at the Goodwill’s training center in downtown Baltimore, her participation was halted on March 20, 2020, due to COVID-19. Remaining focused on education and training, Stephanie elected to take the National Retail Federation Business of Retail online course during the closure. Training remotely, she worked diligently and at her own pace to acquire the retail certification.
When Gina Casteal walked into Goodwill Industries of Fort Worth looking for job training, she and her four children were homeless. They had been bouncing around different living arrangements, sometimes living with friends and family, and even living out of her car for a period of time. Their home had been foreclosed on when she was unable to pay the mortgage, and she needed help to get back on her feet.
Dania Velazquez knew she needed training and certifications to verify her skills and get started on her chosen career path, but her work schedule did not allow her to attend traditional classes. The first step on her journey was to attend a local hiring event, where she learned of the Goodwill Industries of Tulsa (OK) TulsaWORKS Google IT Support Professional Certificate program.
When Jeanne Najar-Marez applied to the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) at Goodwill Industries of New Mexico (Albuquerque), she was looking for a resource to assist her with job training and employment. She had been out of the workforce for several years and had dealt with illness, homelessness and substance abuse during that time. She was on the waiting list in Bernalillo County, NM, for several months before she was able to enroll into SCSEP.
When the COVID-19 pandemic shut down much of the United States early in 2020, Toni Meador found herself among the millions who were suddenly without work. Like many, a pandemic-related layoff was not the only challenge she was facing. Toni was working to recover from identity theft and leaving an abusive marriage. She did not have transportation and lacked other supports, such as housing to keep herself and her son safe.
This past year has been one of transition for Patrick Curtis. After working for his family business for nearly 10 years, he discovered Goodwill’s Careers in Technology (CiT) program in the fall of 2019. At that time, he viewed a Goodwill® mission moment that was shared at a board of directors meeting for the YMCA Express at Gainsboro. Not only did the mission moment spark Patrick’s interest, but it also provided him with the realization that he could have the opportunity to work where his passion lies — in information technology.
In October of 2019, Della Turner found herself out of work. Everything had changed since she last searched for employment, and companies that were hiring required skills that she did not learn in her line of work. She knew it was time to update her skills. The Mississippi Department of Employment Security referred Della Goodwill Industries of Mississippi (Ridgeland) WIN Job Center, where she enrolled in digital skills training.
A native of Liberia, Wesley Chenoweth is pursuing the American entrepreneurial dream, and credits his experience with Goodwill of North Georgia’s GoodBiz program for helping him find the path to success. Goodwill of North Georgia awarded his company, Grizzly Delivery, LLC, with its 2020 Micro-Business of the Year award in recognition of his firm’s achievements.