Success Stories

Goodwill helped Tim earn his IT degree and land his dream job while navigating his disability

Tim Johnson applied to numerous jobs while in school but kept getting rejection letters. He finally got connected with Goodwill who helped him pay for college, land his dream job and manage his disability.

Tim has Bipolar Disorder, which is difficult to manage without the medication he needs. When he was unemployed and earning his degree, Tim didn’t have access to insurance which meant he couldn’t afford medication.

“Managing my disability has its ups and downs, and if I don’t take my medication it affects my mood quite a bit. It was hard trying to balance school, and the financial barriers I was facing on top of that – but I’m so glad I didn’t give up,” Tim said.

October is National Disability Employment Awareness month. It’s important to us that people with disabilities are given a platform to share their success and educate our local communities. Our programs help people with disabilities (and everyone else too) find jobs, maintain employment, and reach their personal goals.

Tim recently graduated from the University of Southern Maine, and was hired at Atlantic Federal Credit Union as an IT Support Specialist. During school, Tim received SNAP benefits which helped him pay for food. But college classes are expensive, and Tim commuted to class which required gas money each week. Goodwill helped him with gas cards for his commute and paid for a portion of his tuition and textbooks. Tim also got help signing up for insurance, so he could affordably access the medication he needs for his disability.

“Tim faced a lot of barriers when I first started working with him, but he never let that get in the way of his dreams,” said Hannah Smith, Life Navigator at Goodwill NNE. “He’s worked incredibly hard to get to where he is now, he just needed a little bit of support to get started.”

Tim has been working with Atlantic Federal Credit Union in South Portland for a few months, and loves his job. He helps coworkers with technical support needs, sets laptops up for new hires and will soon get to train new employees in his department to do the same.

“Hannah has been amazing, and Goodwill has been a tremendous help to me. I can’t say it enough, anyone who needs help, I highly recommend reaching out to Goodwill,” Tim said.

For (free) help finding a great career or job training, click here.

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