Jul 21, 2023
“Before coming to Goodwill, I was figuring out my life and figuring out my sobriety.” Kaylyn Hosmer was referred to Goodwill’s LifeLaunch: IGNITE program in December 2022. “My addiction recovery coaches at Fresh Coast Alliance told me about Goodwill and the IGNITE program and thought it could help me.”
LifeLaunch: IGNITE is a Goodwill Industries International (GII) program funded through the Department of Labor. The program is for justice-involved youth between the ages of 18 to 24 and includes work experience to prepare individuals for success in the workplace. Each participant is coached throughout the duration of the program by a Goodwill career coach who meets with each participant multiple times per week to provide feedback on their performance and to ensure plan adherence based on goals set by the participant. Additionally, once the participant completes programming, the career coach continues the relationship to secure and retain employment.
Joe Gordon, Kaylyn’s IGNITE career coach, saw something special about Kaylyn from the beginning. “Kaylyn has a strong desire to succeed. She had hit bottom a few times in her young life already and by God's grace she was determined not to go back there. She's hungry, and once she finds her thing, she'll be a world changer,” Joe said.
“Goodwill placed me in a work experience that was focused on assembly which not only helped me learn to work as a member of a team, but also show me the importance each person on that team,” said Kaylyn. After completing her work experience, Kaylyn showed a particular interest in customer service and knew that she wanted a job that involved serving people. “I love to work with people. I don’t think I could survive long term at a job that wasn’t people centered. I’m a server and I love to talk with the people that come in. I love when my patrons leave happy.” In February 2023, Kaylyn landed a job with local restaurant Toast N’ Jams. A few months later, after needing more hours, she transitioned to Biggby Coffee and Bob Evans where she works today.
“IGNITE helped me learn how to prepare for a job. Before coming to Goodwill I didn’t know how to hold on to a real job. Struggling on and off with my sobriety, working a job was always on my terms. I never thought about looking at it from the employer’s point of view, but Goodwill helped me with that,” said Kaylyn. “Goodwill loved on me and helped guide me. They gave me mock interview training and Joe and Dina were both there to help and listen when I had problems and needed to talk with someone.”
“Goodwill helped me realize my worth and know what skills I bring to the table and how use those skills to market myself. They led me in the right direction and I would recommend anyone lost in life to try Goodwill,” said Kaylyn. “Thanks for taking a chance on me.”
When asked if Kaylyn has any advice for someone else who was struggling to find or keep work, she said, “Never give up.”
IGNITE is a program for 18-to-24 year old justice-involved young adults wanting a fresh start. The program includes job readiness, work experience, career coaching, and job placement assistance. For additional information on IGNITE or other justice-involved programs, contact Dina Butler or Joe Gordon at (231) 722-7871.
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