Finding the Ability in her Disability

Rosemarie Samson defines success simply: a loving family and a fulfilling career.

Born deaf, the Philippine native questioned whether she would find her idea success, but she was willing to work for it.

rosemarie-3The first part the equation came easy — she married a man she loved in the Philippines and welcomed a daughter shortly after.

Her husband’s job moved their family to Kentucky in 2000, and they later moved to California after her husband was transferred.

Rosemarie and her daughter returned to the Philippines so she could earn her bachelor’s degree in English.

Armed with a degree and a renewed passion for going after a career in which she could thrive, Rosemarie and her daughter returned to California in 2007.

But as she started on her job search, Rosemarie became discouraged.

“I tried working with placement agencies, but I didn’t have any luck,” she said. “I wanted so badly to find something I was passionate about and could be successful with, despite being deaf.”

Rosemarie put her career search on hold after growing their family by one more when she and her husband welcomed another child.

In 2013, Rosemarie again wanted to pursue finding a job, and she was referred to Goodwill where she met Sarita, a Job Search Skills Training Instructor for placement services.

Rosemarie had some work experience, but had not held a job since 2008.

She found herself questioning her abilities, looking at barriers as permanent fixtures in her life and wondering if her dream of success was even obtainable.

Rosemarie still was determined, however. She just needed someone to help remind her of all that she could do.

Sarita quickly noticed Rosemarie was in need of a confidence boost and continued to assure her that nothing could prevent her from achieving her goals, but she would have to work for it.

Rosemarie was up for the challenge.

She enrolled in a number of Goodwill programs, including Mobility Training, Independent Living Skills Program, and a three-month Work Experience Program.

rosemarie-2With every program she completed, Rosemarie became more self-assured and more prepared to take on long-term work.

Rosemarie learned how to commute on the bus and how to thrive in a work environment. She improved her sign language skills, obtained a driver’s license and earned her U.S. Citizenship.

Goodwill’s programs also introduced her to other deaf people in the community, where she built strong bonds with others facing the same challenges she did.

Through these experiences, she found her confidence and success.

Rosemarie now has a full-time job as a Used Goods Processor here at Goodwill.

“I truly believe that my disability does not affect my ability to be independent,” she said. “I can do anything.”

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