We love telling the stories of those making a difference. Because of this, we love working telling Goodwill Success Stories. This organization does so much more than provide outlets for affordable retro finds. Goodwill truly cares about the community and shows this by giving opportunities to those that need it most. This is the story of one of those opportunities. This is the story of Tameka.
Tameka’s Goodwill Success Story
For someone with a criminal background, finding a path to work can be difficult. Getting an employer to take a chance is often one of the biggest barriers. For Tameka, work was the way to independence, but the path was not easy.
Tameka was homeless after leaving an abusive father. She was sleeping at various shelters in Milwaukee with her two young children, with no place to call her own. While with a friend one afternoon, Tameka got caught in the middle of a violent situation. She ended up being a party to a crime. Asked to leave her shelter, Tameka took her two young children and left with no job prospects ahead of her. While living at a new shelter in Waukesha, Tameka learned about Goodwill’s Workforce Connection Center and knew it was time for a change.
Her new shelter referred her to the Sojourner Family Peace Center. There, the Goodwill Workforce Connection Center and Sojourner have partnered together to assist survivors of domestic violence with help finding a job. The Sojourner Family Peace Center, provides education, advocacy, and resources to keep families safe from domestic violence. Despite Tameka’s eagerness to work and provide a better life for her family, she lacked the experience needed to gain meaningful employment.
After hearing about the options available, Tameka applied for and participated in Goodwill’s Culinary Training program at Goodwill’s Café 1919. Goodwill’s Culinary Institute is a comprehensive, hands-on program providing individuals with practical, real-world training in the foodservice industry. While in training, Tameka gained valuable work experience, as well as her ServSafe Certification. Soon after, Tameka was hired in the kitchen at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino, one of the largest entertainment destinations in the Midwest.
Being employed has given Tameka confidence and independence in a way she has never had before in her life. Having a job is not just about the paycheck for Tameka, it has changed the path for her and her family. Tameka is living in her own apartment with her two children and hopes to attend college to become a social worker. As a result, she hopes she can encourage others to overcome obstacles and make a difference in the world today.
To see more Goodwill Success Stories as well as the wide variety of commercial work we do, please check out our blog!