Elevating people by eliminating barriers
For the Press Times
NORTHEAST WISCONSIN – Goodwill North Central Wisconsin (Goodwill NCW) lit up Lambeau Field on Oct. 3, with during their inaugural gala event.
Community leaders from across the region were invited to hear the inspiration stories of those whose lives are being transformed throughout northcentral Wisconsin through Goodwill NCW’s mission of “Elevating people by eliminating barriers to employment.”
“This event was 52 years in the making,” Goodwill NCW President/CEO Chris Hess said. “It created an important opportunity to share the power of the Goodwill mission with our communities. Community partnerships and support from generous donors and shoppers make our mission impact possible and we want to extend our gratitude.”
Taylor Devenport, Mason Sabota and Fernando Sandoval shared their stories on how they have been impacted by Goodwill and its mission.
Devenport’s unique pathway led her from a program participant in Goodwill NCW’s School-to-Work program to a senior job coach at the La Crosse Goodwill store.
This year she was honored with Goodwill Industries International’s Achiever of the Year award.
“I am not afraid to do anything anymore. Goodwill NCW helped me grow into the person I am today. I can’t wait to see how far I can grow in my role,” she said.
Through Goodwill NCW’s Project SEARCH site at ThedaCare in Appleton, Mason Sabota participated in three 10-week internships designed to prepare people with disabilities to enter the workforce.
During the program, Mason gained hands-on work experience as an integrated member of various departments and confirmed his love of food service.
After graduating from Project SEARCH, he was hired in dining services at ThedaCare.
After a period of incarceration, Fernando Sandoval joined the Goodwill NCW team at the Outlet Store in Appleton.
He was met by a group of caring people who gave him a sense of worth.
“I have gone through a rough time in my life. You lose hope and think nobody cares. When I came to Goodwill, I found that people treat me with respect and give me hope for tomorrow,” Fernando said.
Fernando has been elevated within Goodwill NCW numerous times and most recently, moved into a store leadership role at the Oshkosh West Goodwill store.
He is now paying it forward every day, giving people with barriers to employment the encouragement and support they need to be successful.