“Things are so much brighter than I could have ever dreamed, and I just learned how capable I am even though I really believed and was told that I wasn’t. Goodwill showed me this whole different side of me.”
Rachelle arrived at Goodwill after leaving a horrendous situation. She grew up in a struggling family, dropped out of high school, and got involved in a relationship that led to Rachelle being a victim of human trafficking. Goodwill’s Job Training and Education (JTE) staff embraced Rachelle the moment she entered the center and provided the encouragement and support she needed to start believing in herself again.
“No matter what you go through in life, you have to believe in you and that you can make it,” Cheri said. “I had lost that. You get to a point where you are OK and then you lose everything, and it’s kind of like, ‘How did I get here?’ I was beating myself up mentally and stopped believing in Cheri. The people at Goodwill were so open and loving, and they believe in everybody that walked in that room regardless of what you were going through. Goodwill was a big help in my transformation. I give Goodwill all props. I really do.”
Throughout the pandemic, Goodwill has supported our community through our free classes and case managers are ready to support students with their most urgent needs. With the support of donors, last year, more than 4,300 students enrolled in Goodwill classes, and 541 found jobs with over 250 local employers. Goodwill has helped people in our northwest Washington community find employment for nearly 100 years, but the need for our services has never been greater.
“The youth look up to me. I’m young, but knowing they look up to me is kind of different, because at one point I was the person looking up to staff.” – Martrez, Seattle Goodwill Intern and Youth Program Participant
Martrez graduated from Seattle’s Cleveland High School in 2019. Before he connected with Goodwill, Martrez compared himself to his peers who lacked interest in school and weren’t on the right track. After building relationships and receiving guidance from Goodwill’s Youth Year-Round Program Job Training & Education (JTE) staff, Martrez’s mindset shifted.
“I believe this internship offers a lot of help for the lower-income students – not for the students who have the highest grades or have the most amount of money or already have a place in college,” Nika said. “Goodwill speaks for students who are struggling in an environment they don’t think they can get out of. It’s good to give an opportunity for others who need it, and Goodwill does that.”
“The internship is a pretty good opportunity, especially if you are trying to see what work is like,” Rodney said. “You’re learning things, and you’ve got really supportive people there that want to help you grow and succeed in life.”
MaiQueen’s first summer with Seattle Goodwill has been an immersion in career exploration, professional development, community service, and so much more. A senior at Seattle’s Garfield High School, she stayed busy last summer developing job skills in Goodwill’s Youth Maritime Program.
"Because of this internship, I had a more productive summer. I turned it into a, ‘Let’s go to work and see what I can accomplish, regardless of the circumstances," Alieu says about his five-month work experience with Goodwill.
"It feels like something that has come full circle. I always have to step back in a little bit of amazement to feel that I’m a part of something I was a supporter of for so long."
– Joel Hoffman, Seattle Goodwill E-commerce Auction Lister
When Joel first walked into our Seattle store in the mid-nineties, he had no idea Goodwill would eventually play such a big role in his life.
"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
On Tuesday, November 3, we have the opportunity to make our voices heard and exercise our right to vote! At Goodwill, we’re hosting voter registration drives to make sure that everyone who is eligible and interested in voting has the opportunity to cast their ballot.
In partnership with Common Power, we’ll have volunteers running registration drives at select stores across northwest Washington the first four Saturdays of October from 10 am to 1 pm and 2 pm to 5 pm.
Volunteers can help you register using paper forms or online with one of our computers or with your own mobile device.