"If it wasn’t for Goodwill, I wouldn’t be here. They gave me the experience I needed to be where I am today.”
To say that this past year has been a whirlwind for Naney Rivera-Perez is an understatement.
After graduating from high school, Naney had no plans to go to college and wasn’t sure what to do with her life. Her family was not able to assist her and did not support her plan to pursue employment. Since her family relied on public assistance, Naney was directed by the Department of Social Services to complete mandatory work activity at one of two locations. Goodwill was one of them. She had never heard of Goodwill and took a “leap of faith” that proved to be the first step in her journey to employment and so much more that she never would have imagined possible.
While participating in Goodwill’s workforce development programs, Naney gained valuable work experience assisting staff with administrative tasks and translating Spanish for Goodwill clients and staff. Always willing to take on additional responsibilities, she quickly learned the skills necessary to help clients with resume building. She was able to actively work towards overcoming her self-described “fear of people” by training at the Goodwill reception area where she “interacted with everyone” and grew her customer service skills.
Six months into her time at Goodwill, Naney met a representative from Systems Personnel, a local recruitment firm that was volunteering regularly at the agency conducting mock interviews with clients. He saw Naney’s potential and offered her a job. Without reliable transportation, Naney had to decline the offer but saw the representative often during his visits to Goodwill. When Naney’s family was forced to move and she knew she could take the bus to get to Systems Personnel, she reached back out to them. That’s when “everything fell into place”. A position was available; she interviewed, landed the job, and started a week later.
As a Recruiting Administrator, Naney handles the administrative needs of the firm. With the mentoring she received, she soon took on additional responsibilities and now manages social media and marketing as well. Naney says, “They showed me that I had the potential to do more than I believed.”
Naney’s employer had told her that they “wanted her in school in the fall”. She definitely took their advice and is currently enrolled full-time at Erie Community College where she is pursuing a degree in Business Administration while she continues to work her full time job.
Naney will proudly show you a symbol she has tattooed on her arm that means “Perseverance”. We can’t think of a more appropriate symbol for this remarkable young woman.
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