#MissionMonday: Jenni found her perfect fit at Goodwill

Jenni was recently diagnosed with functional neurological disorder (FND), a medical condition that affects how the brain and body send and receive signals. At times, the condition causes her to lose control of basic functions like moving and speaking and could even result in seizure.

Because of her disability, Jenni had trouble finding and keeping a job that suited her needs. After leaving her most recent job, she spent two years searching for the right fit – then she thought to apply to our Jeffersontown store in Louisville.

She started as a cashier in January 2020 and has since been promoted to team lead.

“Nothing was suiting me,” she said. “Then I said, ‘You know what, what about Goodwill?’ This has been the best job I’ve ever had. I plan on retiring here. It’s the first raise I’ve ever had, too. I’ve never been more than a following ant, but now, I’m a team lead.”

Goodwill is Jenni’s 10th job in 10 years, and according to her, it will be her “final” job. She was shocked when her coworkers started coming to her for leadership.

“I was like, ‘Me?’ It was very humbling,” she said, “because I was usually never asked questions before. I was never trusted with information. I was just very thankful. …

“I finally feel like I have the tools to help.”

Jenni’s main goal is to stay with the store through January, which would make it the longest job she’s ever had. She hopes to remain a team lead at Jeffersontown, because it gives her time for her biggest hobby, creating art. She said the Jeffersontown store and manager Mehgan have been understanding of her needs.

“I’m so thankful they’ve been so patient with me with all my disorders – when I was unable to walk, my voice would go away sometimes – they were just patient with me and understood,” she said.

The Jeffersontown store will be getting a bus to transport employees to work soon, since there isn’t a bus stop. Before, Jenni relied on her boyfriend to take her to work during his lunch breaks. Now, she doesn’t have to worry about a ride, which eases her mental health.

“Out of all the jobs I’ve had, none have understood me as much as this store,” she said. “Most of them just think of you as a number – ‘You should be able to do as good as this other person.’ But, with my disabilities, I never could fit in that niche. It was very frustrating for them and very stressful for me. It’s easy here for me because they understand me. I love it here. Goodwill is just where I need to be.”