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Empowerment in our community: New Lives stories of Transformation through Goodwill

Posted by Goodwill Staff on January 29, 2024

New Lives: A bigger impact and transformation

New Lives; a celebration of hope, strength, and new beginnings right here in our neighborhood. At Goodwill, we're not just about second-hand goods; we're about first-class transformations. Through job training, education, and employment, we're proud to share how we’ve supported your neighbors in weaving success stories out of sheer determination.

LaKieshia January

LaKieshia’s Story: A New Chapter

LaKieshia is a single mother of four, previously working two minimum-wage jobs to provide the basics for her family. Even with two jobs, she struggled to make ends meet. After completing a computer and financial literacy program at Goodwill, she applied to a new opportunity right at Goodwill. LaKieshia got the job and considers her career move to be “the best decision of [her] life.”

Warren Feb

Warren’s Breakthrough: From Adversity to IT Achievement

The COVID-19 pandemic turned Warren's life upside down. Like many others, he lost his job when everything changed. This was a tough time for Warren, but he didn't give up. He decided to try something new and went to Goodwill to learn about careers in technology. Warren decided on the technology training certification program and earned his IT (Information Technology) professional certification. With the certification, Warren landed a great new job as an IT consultant.

Rosa March

Rosa’s Triumph: A Grandmother’s Love and Strength

As the sole caretaker of her five grandchildren, Rosa was struggling to financially support her family even though she was already working a steady job. Wanting to provide financial stability for her grandchildren and still have time to spend together as a family, she sought a new job and career path at Goodwill. She was hired by Goodwill and her new role gave her the much-needed opportunity to better provide for her family.

Humberto April

Humberto’s Honor: Achieving Independence Through Goodwill

Humberto joined the Goodwill Work and Community Services program, which helps people with developmental disabilities gain independence through work. Thanks to the program, he got a job with the custodial team at Goodwill, where he's now a valued and diligent team member.

Consolee May

Consolee’s Conquest: Overcoming Obstacles to Employment

Consolee, a refugee, found it tough to find a job that felt right for her. She didn't know how to look for jobs, and even filling out applications was challenging. She went to Goodwill to improve her computer skills and get help from a career coach. There, she learned more about using computers, how to search for jobs, and how to handle interviews. Now, Consolee has a job she really enjoys.

Michael June

Michael’s Journey: Seeing Beyond Sight

Michael was in the prime of his life when his vision began deteriorating. After his complete vision loss, he struggled to find a job that would accommodate his disability. He came to Goodwill with the goal of finding purposeful work. Since joining the retail production team at Goodwill, he has become one of the top performers at his store.

Syeda July

Syeda’s Success: Balancing Motherhood with a Flourishing Career

Syeda was overwhelmed juggling her roles as a full-time student, single mom, and part-time worker. Balancing her busy schedule and family needs was tough, leading her to leave school to work more. She turned to Goodwill for training in soft skills and career guidance. Now, she's excelling at a financial planning company, finding her career path and independence.

Jose August

Jose’s Leap of Faith: Overcoming Injury to Find Employment Security

Jose has been a dedicated worker for years, saving money to help his family in Mexico. However, an injury while working as a forklift operator hurt his ankles, making life and work much harder. He struggled to support his family like before. Looking for a new job, Jose turned to Goodwill. Goodwill gave him a fresh start with a job that offers security and support. This has improved his life, not just at work. Jose feels more confident now and is often praised and asked for advice by his co-workers. Being away from his family in Mexico is tough, but Jose is comforted by being able to support them again.

Angelica September

Angelica's Ascent: Goodwill's Guidance to HR Success

Angelica began her journey with Goodwill Columbus after being referred by the Work Experience Program. After the completion of a few required courses, Angelica was offered a position in the Goodwill Columbus Human Resources department. Today, she is a valued member of the team and helps others find their next best job, just like she did.

Michael October

Michael’s Mastery: From Adversity to Employment at Goodwill

Michael faced challenges in school because of his ADHD and unstable housing. When his father found a flyer about job training, they both reached out to Goodwill. They received the support they needed, with professional skills training for Michael and housing help for his father. Now, Michael works full-time at a Goodwill outlet store with his dad, and both have made great personal and professional progress.

Camy November

Camy’s New Chapter: From Layoff to Tech Success

After Camy was laid off as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. She went to Goodwill to seek support in her search for new employment. At Goodwill, Camy explored a new career in technology and participated in a program offering digital skills and tech-related training. After completing the web-design training program provided by Goodwill, she earned a great new job as an engineer for a tech company.

Kenneth December

Kenneth’s Victory: A Veteran’s Journey from Hardship to Dream Job

Kenneth, a veteran, faced tough times with addiction and homelessness after his military service. The pandemic made things harder, leaving him jobless for the first time. He found help at Goodwill, where he learned job skills, got technical training, and had real work experience. These new skills helped Kenneth get his dream job at Tesla, where his co-workers see him as a true professional.

Every visit to Goodwill, every donation, every purchase supports a story of change. These inspiring journeys from members of the robust Goodwill community illuminate the true mission of Goodwill: not just to offer support, but to empower new beginnings and sustainable futures. Join us in fostering 'New Lives' and witness how every contribution ignites hope and opportunity right where we live.


Written by Goodwill Staff

Mission Support Center
Tel: (414) 847-4200

James O. Wright Center forWork & Training
Tel: (414) 353-6400

Metropolitan Chicago -
Tel: (312) 994-1440