Corey - Outstanding Employee of the Year

Corey

“Having the job here at Goodwill has changed my life. Goodwill has kept me grounded, showing me I have a future.”

Ten years ago, Corey had just moved to Austin and was looking for work while he waited the arrival of his first child. He stopped by his local Goodwill store to apply, but there were no positions available. Corey learned about the former “Do-Gooder” program, where members of the community can volunteer to work at Goodwill. Corey kept coming back every day, sometimes spending 10 hours a day volunteering his time.

His hard work finally paid off when a part-time position opened, and he got the job. Corey supplemented his part-time income by calling every morning to see if he could pick up an extra shift for the day. Eventually, he got a full time position and quickly achieved his goal of becoming a store Manager. But, his journey to becoming the 2017 Goodwill Hall of Honor Outstanding Employee wasn’t an easy one.

Corey grew up in inner city Chicago, where gangs and life on-the-streets claimed the futures of young men who had few opportunities for advancement. Corey had five brothers and his mom worked extra jobs to provide for her family. Corey and his brothers struggled to make good choices, even while losing relatives to gun violence and prison.

One afternoon, as Corey and his brothers played in the alley, another teen shot and killed one of Corey’s friends point blank. Corey’s mother feared for her boys and decided right then that she’d had enough, and she needed to raise her family in a safer environment. Corey says “for a mother to have six boys, and all of them still alive, that’s rare for the neighborhood where we’re from.” Corey’s mom remarried and moved the family to Killeen, TX.

Today Corey enjoys time with his own sons, and his mom, who Corey says is a wonderful grandmother and a huge help. He stays at Goodwill because he knows that the work he does every day, really helps people. And he can already see that caring attitude in his own boys. Corey knows that with the help of Goodwill, his hard work and persistence paid off. “Having the job here at Goodwill has changed my life.”