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Goodwill Mission Stories

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Crystal

Crystal was a young teen mother when she began working at Goodwill. Faced with the challenges of a baby to care for, her job attendance began to suffer. After talking with the Goodwill management team, Crystal focused on how to improve her situation and entered Goodwill's Career Path program. Now Crystal enjoys a healthy work-life balance and providing for her son. When you shop and donate to Goodwill the revenue from the sale of donated goods helps people like Crystal overcome barriers and gain independence.

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Ron

For Ron, working at Goodwill is the best job he's ever had. He's seen first-hand how Goodwill saves lives. As a Director of Goodwill's Supply Chain, Ron oversees an operation of 75 people, and each person has a story to share. For some it's about transformation, for others it means overcoming hardships as well as gaining dignity and independence.

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Keishla

Barriers to employment can take many forms. For some, child care or transportation issues can make it difficult to find or keep a job. For others, it may be a language or literacy issue. Serving people with disadvantages is a part of the Goodwill mission, and Keishla is an example of what happens when barriers are broken.

hile living in Puerto Rico, Keishla graduated with degrees in forensic science and chemistry but was unable to obtain meaningful employment and was struggling to support herself. Faced with fear and limited career options after graduation, Keishla was determined to move her life forward and made the difficult decision to leave her family in Puerto Rico and move to Wisconsin for a fresh start.

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Bryon

It takes a truly remarkable person to turn the pain of a devastating accident into a lifetime of advocating for others and working toward finding a cure for paralysis. That person is Bryon Riesch.

More than 20 years ago, an accident left Bryon a  quadriplegic,  and changed the path of his life. Determined not to let his disability define his future, Bryon went on to graduate from Marquette University with a double major in information technology and marketing. Upon graduation, Bryon enrolled in Goodwill’s AbilITy Connection program, which offered mentoring, internships, scholarships and job placement services to students with disabilities who were interested in a career in information technology. With a strong mentor, Bryon’s career flourished, and Goodwill helped to provide him with a bridge from college to the workforce. Through AbilITy Connection, Bryon got his first professional job at Northwestern Mutual. Currently, Bryon is a successful Project Manager at R&R Insurance.

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Creighton



Before coming to Goodwill, Creighton and his family were uncertain where his life was heading due to his intellectual disability. Through the Power of Work, Creighton is a shining example of how meaningful work has transformed his life. 

A lifelong supporter of Goodwill, Creighton learned to count money by shopping at Goodwill Store & Donation Centers with his mom. He was always excited to come home with new treasures. After he suffered a serious illness, Creighton’s mother, Toni, knew it was time for Creighton to find a job that would not only lift his  spirits,  but also give him purpose.

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Gail

As a single mother with three special needs children, Gail found success at Goodwill and overcame a number of challenges. She now has confidence in herself and a job she loves.

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Tiffany

For someone with a criminal background, finding a path to work can be difficult. Getting an employer to take a chance is often one of the biggest barriers. For Tiffany, work was the way to independence, but the path was not easy.

After living in an abusive home, Tiffany found herself homeless and relied on staying at various shelters in Milwaukee with her two young children. One afternoon, Tiffany was with a friend, got caught in the middle of a violent situation and ended up being a party to a crime. With an open case against her, Tiffany was asked to leave the shelter with her two young children. While living at a new shelter in Waukesha, Tiffany learned about Goodwill’s Workforce Connection Center and knew it was time for a change.

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Willie

Willie is proof that you can change the path of your life and not allow a past criminal record to determine what you can achieve. As Willie shares, “I’m not defined by one bad  act,  or one good act. It all defines who I am.” Goodwill has helped Willie with that journey.

Despite owning a successful barbershop business for many years, Willie began hanging with the wrong crowd and trouble caught up with him. After being incarcerated three times, for a total of 12 years, Willie found his criminal history a barrier to achieving permanent employment. With only temporary jobs on the horizon, he didn’t have the stability he needed for his wife and growing family.

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Anthony

Anthony's Story - Soaring to New Heights

Anthony shares his inspiring story of overcoming barriers and excelling at his new job at the Milwaukee's International General Mitchell Airport. Prior to his new position, Anthony was among the first inaugural group of Project Search interns in 2018.

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Dakota


We all go through life hoping to find our dream job, and if we're lucky, we might just find it. Dakota, a young man with autism and a cognitive disability, found his dream job through the Power of Work.

Since Dakota was seven years old, he has wanted to work at a library – to feel connected to the books and stories that take him to another place. Hoping to help her son achieve his dream, Dakota’s mom, Sandy, reached out to Goodwill EmpowerOne and shared his hopes and aspirations with Goodwill job coaches. Through EmpowerOne, individuals with disabilities build the skills and independence needed to be successful both in employment and their community.

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