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Success Story: Yvonne

Yvonne loves helping people; it is the reason she chose a rewarding career as a Certified Nurse Aide (CNA). Tragically, Yvonne suffered a serious back injury in a car accident in 2007. No longer able to handle the physical strain of daily CNA work, Yvonne was forced to quit her job and go on disability assistance.

Unable to pay her bills, Yvonne came to Goodwill in 2011 for help. Unfortunately, as she was advancing through Goodwill’s Supported Employment program, Yvonne suffered an even greater tragedy – the sudden loss of her daughter. She dropped out of the program in 2012.

“It was just too difficult at that time for her to seek work,” Goodwill Job Developer and Employment Specialist Tabatha Glezman said.

Five years later, in February of 2017, Yvonne returned to Goodwill to begin her employment journey once again.

“I couldn’t pay my bills and I couldn’t afford nice clothes,” Yvonne said of her life before seeking Goodwill’s services.

She knew it would not be easy to find work that would utilize her nursing aide skills and her joy of helping others, but would not require physical labor.

Through the Goodwill Supported Employment program, Tabatha helped Yvonne create an effective résumé, prepared her for interviews, and researched employment opportunities that would fit her skill set and activity level.

In April of 2017, Tabatha found the perfect position and Yvonne began working as a caregiver at Village Manor, a full-service senior living center in Ludington.

“She is placed in activities that do not require lifting and very little cleaning,” said Tabatha of Yvonne’s new position. “She loves working with people and is very happy now that she is working.”

Yvonne can now pay her bills. She also enjoys being able to go shopping, which she does quite frequently — at Goodwill — where she always takes time to tell the staff how thankful she is for Goodwill’s help in finding her a job that she loves.

“Goodwill helped me realize that even though I have a disability, I can still work and help people with the job I do.”

Supported Employment

Targeted primarily toward people with developmental disabilities or mental impairment, this model of service provides one-on-one training and on-going support for a successful transition to community-based employment. The program combines community job development, job coaching, and long-term follow-up to maximize employment potential. Participants are referred through Michigan Rehabilitation Services.

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