Story Behind the Stores: After falling in love with Goodwill’s mission, Samantha’s goal is to help others

With a violent felony on her record, Samantha thought she would never find employment.

“I would see why people wouldn’t hire me without talking to me,” she said.

But as a requirement for drug court, Samantha had to have a job and work 40 hours per week. She applied to “hundreds” of job postings, but only one employer called her back – Goodwill.

She began working at our Mount Washington store as a hanger in 2019. At first, she didn’t think she’d be with us for long.

“I was just convinced I was only going to work at Goodwill until I was done with drug court,” she said. “But then, I fell in love with my job. I love it. I love being able to help people. I love seeing all the different walks of life that come in. The people I work with are so awesome.”

It was then that she was promoted to team lead at Mount Washington. Last May, she graduated drug court as an assistant manager at our Hillview store in Louisville.

In the fall of 2021, Samantha took part in our GREAT program, which stands for Goodwill Retail Employee Advancement Training. After graduating the 10-week course, she was promoted to assistant manager II at Hillview.

“I’ve learned a lot,” she said. “It’s really cool to see how the other stores handle different situations and the routes that they take. I’ve learned a lot from all the speakers that have come in. It’s just crazy how informed everyone is and how well they know their job. It’s been a wonderful opportunity.”

Samantha had been told all her life she lacked confidence. After completing GREAT, she said she feels like the sky is the limit.

“This definitely boosted my confidence,” she said. “I do feel like I’m capable. The people that I’m admiring right now and looking up to – I could be one of those people. It seems like it’s more in reach than it ever would’ve been before.”

Samantha said she believes she’s been put on this path for a reason. After learning about our mission, she said she wants to help people like she’s been helped.

“My goal in life now that I’m sober and doing what needs to be done in my life is to help other people,” she said. “We’re a second-chance employer, so I get to meet a lot of people who are going through the same things I went through. I do feel like this job was meant for me.”