In August of 2009 I came to Goodwill of Orange County as a middle-aged single mother of a one- year old, on welfare, and recently out of drug rehab struggling with a mental illness. As a California resident receiving cash aid, I was mandated to participate in a program, to help transition people from welfare-to-work. Someone at a local One Stop suggested that Goodwill of Orange County would be a good fit for me and sent me off for an interview.
I was offered a three month internship in the Human Resources department, specifically with recruiting duties. Being back to work for the first time in four years was exhilarating. The team at Goodwill welcomed me and they were determined to help me find permanent employment. During my time there I learned about the various human service programs and in the process I developed relationships with other program participants that worked at Goodwill every day.
At the end of my internship I was introduced to Goodwill’s Employment WORKS program. It just so happened that Goodwill was in the process of opening a new satellite office near my home and thanks to my newfound confidence and determination, I was given a shot at a job with this program. I became an Employment Training Specialist and within six months, I was promoted. Now I am able to give back and truly help people with mental health and substance abuse issues who like me, just need a chance. The gratification I have received from this opportunity is immeasurable. As my daughter approaches her fourth birthday, I am able to look forward to a brighter future each day.