Goodwill Industries® Honors Joy Diolosa with the 2010 Edgar J. Helms Award for Graduate Staff

Columbus, GA. — Doctors told Joy Diolosa’s parents that she would never walk and that her congenital birth defects — including scoliosis and a club foot — could keep her from working. Diagnosed later in life with paranoid schizophrenia, Diolosa’s mounting disabilities were nothing compared to the cruel treatment she received from co-workers. After being referred to Goodwill Industries® of the Southern Rivers (Columbus, GA), Diolosa blossomed into a confident, communicative employee and has excelled in her job as a custodial worker for the agency. For her inspiring example to others with disabilities, Diolosa has received the 2010 Edgar J. Helms Award for Graduate Staff from Goodwill Industries International.
Diolosa came to Goodwill® with significant doubts about how the agency could help her. She had recently left a job where her co-workers’ hazing included throwing her into a large dumpster as part of her “initiation” into the work world. Diolosa began having severe panic attacks and eventually attempted suicide before being diagnosed with schizophrenia.
After participating in Goodwill’s work adjustment training program, Diolosa grew confident in her abilities and began communicating and trusting co-workers again. She soon garnered a job as part of Goodwill’s custodial team and has starred in a Goodwill television commercial, representing those whose lives are changed by Goodwill’s job placement services. She freely shares her story with others and serves as an ambassador for Goodwill’s programs and services.
“Time and time again, people turn to Goodwill when others have told them they are not qualified to be part of the work world because of their disabilities,” said Jim Gibbons, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. “Joy reminds us that we all have the right to meaningful work. She serves as an incredible example of what is attainable through self-reliance, a strong work ethic and faith in your abilities.”
Diolosa will receive her award during Goodwill’s annual Delegate Assembly meeting in Tacoma, WA, this June.
About the Award
The Edgar J. Helms Graduate Staff Award is named in honor of the founder of Goodwill Industries, an ordained minister and social innovator who was motivated by spiritual values to improve the lives of those is need. Rev. Edgar J. Helms believed that unselfish service, faith and a strong work ethic should permeate Goodwill’s mission, fostering self-reliance and success in others through training and employment. This award recognizes a former recipient of Goodwill services who is currently employed by Goodwill Industries and who has exemplified Helms’ values of unselfish service to people with disabilities or other disadvantaging conditions.