Success Stories

Kara succeeds in Goodwill’s Youth Workforce program, celebrates promotion as store’s shift supervisor

young woman smiles against a wooded background, wearing a sweatshirt

In 2019, Kara was in high school, taking Driver’s Ed and saving for a car. Normal things for a teenager. But what wasn’t normal was that Kara and her family were evicted from their home with nowhere to go. This is how Kara found herself at Preble Street teen shelter. It was there she connected with Goodwill’s Youth Workforce programs. Kara made amazing strides from uncertainty to stability with support from the youth services team by getting a part-time job in a Goodwill store to help support her family.

From uncertainty to stability

Kara graduated from high school in 2020. But like many seniors that year, her graduation ceremony was online. While it as disappointing not to have a big ceremony in person, she was happy to graduate. Also, she got her driver’s license and bought her first car. Further, she saved up and bought a better car. Her family is well and stable.

The advice she learned from our programs is still with her. “It’s okay to ask for help. There are so many resources you may not know about. You will be so thankful that you asked for help.” As she struggled to move a big box, she caught herself and laughing she said, “See? I just need to ask for help! I don’t need to do this alone!”

Goodwill’s Youth Workforce program helped Kara gain important life skills

Kara has worked at the Westbrook store this whole time. Except when our stores, like much of the world, closed for three months during the COVID lockdown. Once she got back to work, she was promoted to shift supervisor. Excited for this opportunity, Kara takes every chance she can to learn and grow. Recently she was trained to use the electronic pallet jack. This is a piece of heavy equipment that allows her to move the pallet boxes in the backroom.

Reflecting on her time at Goodwill and the people she works with and serves, “Goodwill is accommodating to everyone – to find ways to make something work for people with limitations.” 

 In 2019, Kara won Workforce Client of the Year. She tells her story below. 

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