By Goodwill NYNJ
When Rakeem signed up for Goodwill’s mentoring program at age 14, he said, “I didn’t have anything positive going on in my life. I come from a very tough neighborhood, and wanted to steer clear of problems.”
Rakeem had been diagnosed with a learning disability and was held back three times in high school. This would be discouraging for anyone, but with the support of his mentor, Kevin, a U.S. Marine veteran, Rakeem excelled. He persevered, completed a summer internship with Goodwill, graduated, and was hired for our Family Learning Center. “It was my turn to be a role model for younger students!” Rakeem said.
Rakeem was also able to explore other interests, including photography. His outstanding work led to an internship with the Josephine Herrick Project. He says, “Goodwill didn’t just give me a summer activity, I got a job and made connections that will impact my future.”
Rakeem’s story is not unique. Every day, around the country, people are helped by the same kind of services that Rakeem has benefited from. Those services — which include job placement, virtual and in-person job training, skills building and employment services — are funded by donations to Goodwill’s retail operations. For example, a used computer, when donated to Goodwill, can fund more than four hours of career counseling at a Goodwill center.
In 2014, 94,655 people accessed the Goodwill services they needed to succeed.
At Goodwill NYNJ, we hope that this holiday season, everyone will fight for job creation, purpose and opportunity. Each of us is able to make a real difference simply by giving a financial gift or donating our stuff to Goodwill.
Rest assured, when you do that, you create opportunities for others who are trying to find a job and build skills, including veterans and military families, single mothers, youth and many others, including people like Rakeem.
Here’s wishing you and your family the very best holiday season and a joyous new year.
To find out more about what we do and do not accept, visit our website.
When you #ShopGoodwill , not only will you look good, you’ll feel good, too! Because your purchases support Goodwill’s programs and services. Head here to find GoodwillNYNJ store locations near you!