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Joan's Story

”I’m grateful for everyone at Goodwill. They believed in me. Now I believe in me!”

When you meet Joan Livingston, she will tell you that she is a recovering addict who has been drug free for seven years with the “grace of God, the 12-step program and Goodwill.”

When Joan was two years clean, she was diagnosed with depression and sought counseling services from a local mental health agency. She was referred to ACCES-VR (Adult Career and Continuing Education-Vocational Rehabilitation) who sent her to Goodwill to begin her path to employment. In the past, Joan had worked in the janitorial field and wanted to get back to work so that she could provide for herself and her two teenage children. At Goodwill, Joan worked with a vocational evaluator and workforce development staff and began training in a janitorial program to obtain the skills she would need to re-enter the workforce. But Joan “never got to the resume part” of her training because, as it turned out, she wouldn’t need one. Everyone at Goodwill noticed the pride Joan took in her work and her helpful and cheerful attitude. When a position in Goodwill’s maintenance/janitorial division became available, Joan was hired and continued to learn and grow.

One of Joan’s goals in life was to be “the head of something”. She was able to cross that goal off her bucket list when she became Supervisor of the Janitorial department two years ago. As the supervisor of the department Joan now trains clients in the janitorial program. She is grateful that Goodwill “saw something in me and believed in me”. Joan applies lessons she’s learned in her 12-step program that “teach her how to treat people” and will proudly talk about her trainees as if they were family. She uses her own personal experiences and the strength found therein to patiently mentor Goodwill trainees and effect positive changes in their lives. Joan feels like “a mother when a child is leaving the nest” when one of her trainees finishes the program and leaves Goodwill for competitive employment. “I just want them to be the best they possibly can be", Joan says.

Joan is proud to talk about her children, grandchildren and great grandson who mean the world to her. They, and we, are so very proud of her too.

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