Pathways to Success - Tracy




"Goodwill reminded me of who I am. I had purpose again. They restored my confidence and made me see what I’m capable of. “


Sometimes you lose everything in order to start over. Tracy was born and raised in Western New York. She moved to Arizona and lived there for 14 years while she climbed the management career ladder at a prominent retailer. Life was good. Then “everything went downhill” and she lost everything – family, friends, her job, her home – due to substance abuse and domestic violence.


In 2011 Tracy “escaped back to Buffalo” with her young child and lived in transitional housing for women and children who are victims of domestic abuse. Her abuser eventually found her and, after a period of time, they were again living together because “the devil in front of you is less scary than the one you don’t know”. She lived in constant fear and the cycle of abuse continued. When he passed away suddenly, Tracy was left with thousands of dollars of debt, was homeless, and had to resort to couch surfing with her young son. She hadn’t worked in eight years and no one would hire her. She didn’t know where to begin to find a job and start her new life.


One day while out walking, Tracy noticed the Goodwill store in Depew. She had always loved thrift shopping and decided to stop in. There was a hiring sign on the door. That was the first step on what would be her new career path. Tracy applied and was hired as a part time retail associate at the store and enjoyed the job and the team she worked with. Her talent and personality were quickly noticed by the retail management team and she progressed to a full time associate. When an opportunity arose at Goodwill’s store in Buffalo for a promotion to assistant manager, Tracy was ready. While there, she was accepted into Goodwill’s manager in training program and has now been promoted to manager of Goodwill’s retail store and attended donation center in Niagara Falls.


Tracy says, “Goodwill reminded me of who I am. I had purpose again. They restored my confidence and made me see what I’m capable of. Goodwill is a special place to me. I felt I was at the right place at the right time with the right people.”


Tracy’s life has definitely changed since that day she first walked into the Goodwill store. We are proud of everything she has learned and accomplished and look forward to what is ahead for her.


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