Milwaukee Commercial Photographer: Two Success Stories of Goodwill!
We are blessed to be able to tell some very inspiring stories. Some of the most inspiring come from our work with Goodwill on their Success Stories. They have found many ways to help their surrounding communities as a whole. The best way to do that is through helping the individuals that make up those communities.
On this day, we had the pleasure of telling the story of two individuals whose stories have very different beginnings but very similar outcomes. The fun challenge for us was coming into different workplace environments to create emotional portraits. Our team went about the technical job of setting up lighting while respecting the actual business that is running around us. And we were there to help our subjects feel comfortable being a model for the day. But we have to say their determination, spirit of hope and joy for life was so contagious that we found ourselves leaving inspired and rejuvenated after a long day of work. We love what we do.
Faced with poverty and limited career options, Mirabel left her home in the Republic of Cameroon in West Africa, with only her faith and hope for a better life for her family. Mirabel arrived in the United States with her husband in 2016 on a visa, as a part of the U.S. Department of State Diversity Lottery. Upon arrival in the United States, finding employment was her number one priority. With communications challenges and little time to adjust to life on a new continent, Mirabel was uncertain where to turn.
Mirabel discovered Project PRISM through a family friend who advised her of Goodwill’s commitment to providing training, employment and supportive services. Project PRISM is a partnership between Goodwill and Ascension Wisconsin. Mirabel enrolled in Project PRISM and worked to build her confidence and improve her communication skills.
She is now a Customer Service Representative and is a stronger and more empowered woman than ever before. TalentBridge, Goodwill’s staffing and recruitment service, and her coworkers at Ascension have helped Mirabel further by integrating her into an American work environment, while respecting her culture and heritage.
Mike, a young man with Down syndrome, knows first-hand the importance of having a job, and the sense of pride and responsibility it creates, especially when your family is depending on you for financial support. While living in a challenging family situation, Mike came to Goodwill through the Work Services program for on-the-job training and classroom instruction while being encouraged to strengthen his social and teamwork skills in a supportive environment.
Struggling to find himself following a house fire, Mike’s responsibilities to his family had grown beyond his capabilities, resulting in work absences and personal health issues. Through candid conversations with his support team, Mike made the life changing decision to gain his independence by living outside of the family home.
Through the encouragement of Goodwill staff, he joined the Community Opportunities Club, a social group that provides recreational and community outings for adults who have been impacted by a physical disability or brain injury.
Faced with yet another obstacle after moving out, Mike lost his main source of inspiration and support, his mother. Despite the emotional toll this took, he found his inner strength to push through and begin his own personal transformation: to redefine himself as the determined, self-sufficient man his mother always wanted him to be.