This time of year, amidst the hustle and bustle, we’re all thinking about how much we must be thankful for. After all, that’s what Thanksgiving is all about. With that in mind, we want to share the story of someone thankful for the new direction he has been able to take his life.
Troy was looking for something new. He worked as a security guard for the past 15 years but craved a new beginning. While trying to find new positions, he felt that living in Southern Texas and not speaking Spanish disadvantaged him. He also knew that a new career would mean some additional education that he couldn’t afford.
Some people are destined for greatness. Two years ago, Angela might not have thought that about herself. She was involved with the court system and unsure what path to take. When talking to a friend, she heard about some of the services offered at Goodwill of Southwestern Pennsylvania. Angela was particularly interested in LifeLaunch: Ignite. She enrolled in the program, looking for assistance with furthering her education and finding employment.
This month, we celebrated National Digital Inclusion Week. If you haven’t heard of this commemorative week before, it focuses on the concept that “everyone deserves the opportunity to use technology to live, learn, work and thrive.” At Goodwill®, we’ve seen first-hand how digital skills can change someone’s life.
Goodwill® is celebrating National Employ Older Workers Week – September 24 – 30, 2023 – which recognizes the vital role of older workers in the workforce and innovative strategies to increase awareness of this community. After multiple strenuous job searches, Pamela felt further away from her dream than ever. She cared deeply about her community and always saw herself in a career where she could focus on improving the world.
We’re happy to share Jose’s story in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month. When faced with a problem, you find a solution. That's the mindset that Jose has had his entire life. At just one-year-old, he began to lose his vision. Doctors never told him why, but over time, he progressively became more visually impaired. In 2008, he moved to America from Mexico when he was still young.
Damarya Williams is a young woman who was destined for greatness. That’s until she found herself in legal trouble. Like many, she was overcome with peer pressure and succumbed to some unfavorable actions. Damarya paid for her mistakes and started to focus on making things right. When she was assigned to a pre-trial intervention case worker, she heard about the LifeLaunch program at Goodwill Industries of Upstate/Midlands South Carolina (Greenville).
On January 10, 2022, Julian enrolled in a program that changed his life. “Before I came to Goodwill, I hadn’t been on a good path and I hadn’t held a job. I got out of prison and didn’t have a plan,” Julian said. In March, Julian began a six-week CDL certification through a partnership with Michigan Works. Shortly following Julian’s successful completion of the CDL certification, he was offered a job position.
When Taylor Devenport was young, she says she was a fearful little girl who was afraid of her own shadow. Born two months premature, she faced developmental delays that led to struggles in reading, writing and math. While in high school, she needed extra time to complete class work and was enrolled in special education classes to address her learning challenges. In recognition of how far she’s come from seeking Goodwill services to happily providing assistance to others as a senior job coach, Taylor recently received the Goodwill Industries International 2023 Achiever of the Year award.
Through grit, determination and tenacity in taking full advantage of professional development opportunities at Goodwill of Central and Southern Indiana (Indianapolis), Katie Reigelsperger overcame tremendous obstacles in her path to become an entrepreneur focused on helping others succeed. This June, Katie was recognized for her growth and achievements with the Goodwill Industries International Kenneth Shaw Graduate of the Year award. The award recognizes an outstanding person with a disability or disadvantaging condition who completed a Goodwill career services program and is competitively employed by a non-Goodwill employer.
It’s never too late to head back to school. Carla earned her high school diploma and a pharmacy technician certification when she enrolled in the Goodwill Memphis Excel Center. With industry-recognized training programs and dual college credit, adults looking to level up their skills can get their diploma and set their career path back on track just like Carla. Read her story and learn more about our Excel Center at the link below.
Dakota McLaughlin experienced significant challenges growing up. His mother passed away when he was young, and he was also bullied at school, especially when he came out as gay, which often left him feeling alone. After experiencing domestic violence from a family member, Dakota felt safer leaving home, even though he had nowhere else to go. “I dropped out of school and ended up homeless,” Dakota said. “I fell in with the wrong crowd and started using methamphetamines. My life quickly spiraled out of control.”