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Success Story: Patricia 

“Consistent,” “determined,” and “positive.” These are the words Goodwill staff used to describe Patricia; not easy attributes to have when faced with the amount of adversity Patricia has experienced in her lifetime. She grew up in poverty. She struggled with some cognitive issues. She made a few bad decisions that got her in trouble with the law. Her driver’s license was revoked. She even faced a cancer diagnosis. She went through treatment and is in a 10-year remission, but the battle for her life left her with some physical limitations. All of this, made finding a job very challenging.

Others might rely solely on Social Security benefits instead of pursuing employment. Patricia was so determined to find full-time employment that she used public transportation to visit Goodwill’s Career Center at least once a week. Utilizing Goodwill’s computer lab for building her résumé and job searching, Patricia applied for jobs for several months without success. 

She needed a little more help, and that is when Goodwill Tax Program Coordinator Carl Lewis spent time interviewing Patricia. Together they identified her core goals: to secure full-time employment and not be reliant on Social Security benefits, to pay down her debt, and to once again possess a driver’s license. Carl enrolled Patricia in the Ticket to Work program which allows her to work without jeopardizing her Social Security benefits until she secures full-time employment.

Carl also reviewed Patricia’s résumé and noticed she had listed a felony on her record. Upon investigation, he discovered Patricia’s record had been expunged years prior as her convictions were over 20 years old. Carl also helped update her résumé and practiced mock interviews to strengthen her skills. Within a week Patricia was called to interview at McDonald’s. Not only did she ace the interview, but Patricia was offered a part-time position on the spot.

Patricia had also filled out an application for GoodTemps temporary staffing agency. The staff were impressed with Patricia and offered her a higher paying job working in Goodwill’s Industrial Services division. “I like my supervisor and the support they give me along with the hands-on skills,” she said.

Patricia continues to work hard at her goals even asking for more responsibility in her current position. “My days have purpose now,” she said. “Goodwill helped me learn to overcome challenges.” She is an inspiration to Goodwill staff and to others like her sister who is now seeking help from Goodwill. To her sister and others struggling to find work Patricia has this advice: “Stay encouraged, and be persistent and attentive.”

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