Goodwill Industries International Announces Its 2024 Graduate, Achiever and Veteran Award Recipients

ROCKVILLE, MD — Goodwill Industries International recently announced Shaheera Alnatshia as its 2024 Kenneth Shaw Graduate of the Year, John Thompson as the 2024 Achiever of the Year and Gary Peoples as the Carol and Tommy Moore Veteran of the Year. Goodwill® made the announcement during its annual Delegate Assembly in Fort Worth, TX, on June 25. All three award recipients were recognized for their outstanding accomplishments in overcoming significant challenges and breaking barriers to obtaining employment through the support of their local Goodwill organizations.

Shaheera Alnatshia is the 2024 Kenneth Shaw Graduate of the Year. Alnatshia dreamed of one day completing her education and obtaining a job in the business and technology sectors, but a series of hardships almost prevented that from happening. Soon after emigrating with her husband from Jordan to Nashville, TN, in 2011, Alnatshia endured domestic violence, became homeless and struggled to provide for herself and her four children. She also faced challenges adapting to a new culture and learning English as a second language. After learning about Goodwill of Middle Tennessee’s Google IT Certification program, however, she worked tirelessly to make her dream of becoming an IT professional a reality and to provide a better life for herself and her family.

With the help of Goodwill, she earned an apprenticeship with Accenture and now has a full-time position as an application development analyst. When she’s not working, Alnatshia educates women who have experienced similar circumstances on their paths to improve their own lives.

John Thompson is the 2024 Achiever of the Year. Thompson was born with autism and didn’t speak until he was eight years old. For some individuals, overcoming challenges associated with the disorder might seem insurmountable, but Thompson never let obstacles stand in his way and he was determined to shine. Despite being homeschooled, Thompson didn’t earn his high school diploma and never attended public school. Later, with the support of The Excel Center® at Goodwill of Central and Southern Indiana, a tuition-free high school for adults, he worked diligently to earn his high school diploma along with a business certificate, and he found meaningful employment at Goodwill.

Today, Thompson is a retail associate at his local Goodwill store. He is a strong advocate for Goodwill and has served on numerous panels discussing his positive experience with Goodwill and The Excel Center. When he’s not working, he enjoys singing, playing piano and producing a podcast featuring his movie reviews.

Gary Peoples is the 2024 Carol and Tommy Moore Veteran of the Year. Peoples leaned into his faith in God and his former military training in the U.S. Army for the focus, discipline and motivation he needed to create a better life for himself and his family. After serving in the military, he turned to a life of drugs and crime, and he eventually ended up in prison. Through the support of Goodwill Houston’s employment and training programs for veterans and his own determination, hard work and faith, however, he was able to turn his life around and gain meaningful employment.

Today, Peoples works for Goodwill Houston as a dock lead, where he supports Goodwill’s dock and after-market resale operations. In his spare time, he volunteers in his community and works for C.H.A.R.M. (Christ’s Hope and Reconciliation Ministry), mentoring men who are currently incarcerated. “Shaheera, John and Gary all exemplify the success that can be achieved through determination, learning and the power of work. Their ability to break through barriers and provide opportunities for themselves and their families is truly inspiring,” said Steven C. Preston, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. “Through Goodwill, they gained valuable skills and work experience that made it possible for them to grow and realize their career goals, and we are proud to honor their remarkable efforts.”


About the Graduate of the Year Award: The Goodwill Industries International Kenneth Shaw Graduate of the Year 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.

About the Achiever of the Year Award: Goodwill Industries International’s Achiever of the Year is a person who has shown great progress and accomplishment in overcoming challenges to finding employment, and who still benefits from the Goodwill work environment or receives services to support employment at a community site.

About the Veteran of the Year Award: Goodwill Industries International’s Carol and Tommy Moore Veteran of the Year honors a military veteran and Goodwill employee who has shown great progress and accomplishment in overcoming challenges to employment.


Goodwill works to enhance the dignity and quality of life of individuals and families by strengthening communities, building bridges to opportunity, and helping people in need reach their potential through learning and the power of work.

For more than 120 years, Goodwill organizations across North America have helped people find jobs, support their families and feel the satisfaction that comes from working. There are 154 local Goodwill organizations that assist people through employment placement services, job training programs and other community-based services. Thousands of people receive employment and other human services through Goodwill and, in 2023, they helped more than 1.7 million people build skills, access resources and advance careers.

Goodwill sells donated items in more than 3,300 outlet and retail stores in the U.S. and Canada and online marketplaces. The revenue creates training programs and job placements to help people earn paychecks and build their careers.

For more information or to find a Goodwill location near you, visit Follow us on Twitter: @GoodwillIntl and @GoodwillCapHill, and find us on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube: GoodwillIntl. Register for our Legislative Action Center via