Where are they now: Daniel's Story
It was a moment in the backseat of a friend’s car when Daniel, a former Evergreen Goodwill student, recognized two different paths he could take in his life – and a phone call that helped him make a decision that would change his life forever.
The phone call was from his GED instructor.
“Hello, this is Drew from Goodwill … how’s your GED testing going?”
Daniel responded saying, “to tell you the truth, I relapsed, man … I haven’t been doing the tests.”
His instructor responded with support and called on Daniel to continue “pushing forward.”
After hanging up the phone, Daniel told himself that the next time Drew called, he would respond differently, saying to himself – “I’m going to tell him I’m studying.”
That moment was roughly four years ago when Daniel began studying and preparing to take his GED exams with a goal of changing the trajectory of his life.
Within a matter of months, Daniel not only passed his exams and received his GED, he made the decision to continue his education and gain an automotive certificate, working now as a technician at a Ford dealership in the Ellensburg area.
“Thankfully for Goodwill and Drew, I’m on a different path now,” Daniel said.
With a strong sense of willpower and perseverance, Daniel overcame several obstacles in his life to get to the point where he’s at, currently.
He recalled attending multiple high schools during his childhood, and at the precise moment when he began focusing his attention on his education – a small slip up ended up getting him expelled.
“I stopped going to school and started getting into trouble, started going to jail, fell into drugs,” said Daniel. “When you’re on drugs, you’re a whole different person.”
He then entered a rehabilitation facility and learned about Evergreen Goodwill’s Job Training and Education Programs offered at our Skagit County center, including our GED prep classes.
“I’m thankful for Drew, I’m thankful for Goodwill for having the opportunity to get the GED as easy as it was,” Daniel said. “They had the coursework, they had the opportunity, and they just had people that motivated you to get it.”
Part of that motivation was his instructor’s persistency, as well as ensuring Daniel that he always had his back.
“It was about four or five months that Drew kept calling me,” Daniel said. “Every week, every Friday, he’d call me [saying,] ‘Any time Daniel, just give me a call, and I’m here for you.’”
From the first day Daniel entered the classroom, his instructor described him as “positive, upbeat, and hardworking – always a stand-out classroom citizen,” Drew said.
Daniel, a father of two, says his family is proud of his accomplishments and everything that he’s achieved in such a short period of time. He’s also remained sober for the past three years.
Daniel now dreams of one day owning his own automotive shop, his own home and possibly a couple of vehicles that he can spend his free time rehabilitating.
“I’ve always wanted to succeed in life and be a good person,” Daniel said.
As for a lasting remark, Daniel challenged any future students or people reading his story who are contemplating their next endeavor to ask themselves this one question: “What is it from life that you want?”