Pathways to Success - Lawanda

"Goodwill taught me that all the work I did paid off. Look at me now!"

Life had not always been easy for Lawanda or “Red” as she is affectionately called by all who know her.

Red’s journey at Goodwill began when she relocated to Buffalo from South Carolina due to personal and family issues. She felt she would have more opportunities to create a better life for herself and have a fresh start. Red was referred to Goodwill through a welfare to work program which required her to work and receive job training in order to maintain her public assistance benefits.


While fulfilling the requirements of her program, Red worked in Goodwill’s Donated Goods Processing Division sorting donations from the community to be sold in Goodwill’s retail stores. Although she performed her job well, she was known for being “feisty” and did not always know how to handle situations that arose in the workplace or how to handle work relationships. Red worked closely with her Goodwill case manager to develop both her personal and professional skills which made her a better team member – and a better person.


Red’s work ethic and potential were noticed by Goodwill’s Director of Retail Operations who suggested Red apply for a store associate position at Goodwill’s Buffalo location. She applied and landed the position. Red’s personality was perfect for the store position and she excelled in her new role. When an assistant manager position became available at the store, Red was ready, and she was promoted to the management position she now holds.


Goodwill’s Buffalo store is definitely a better place with Red in it. Her larger than life personality shines through and she has created a real team atmosphere for her staff and a welcoming shopping experience for customers, many of them “regulars” at the store that Red knows by name. We have watched Red climb the retail management career ladder and could not be more proud of how far she has come and all she has accomplished.