Goodwill Honors Outstanding Achievement
Each year, Goodwill Central Texas honors people in our community who are transforming their lives through education and work. This year, at our 22nd Annual Hall of Honor, we celebrated six outstanding individuals in our community and a dedicated business partner who exemplifies our mission of generating lifelong connections to work. The Grand Ballroom at The JW Marriott was filled with 600 attendees, joining us to honor our 2017 inductees, and what a great success!
Jerry Davis, President and CEO of Goodwill, kicked off the event with a “Work is the Answer” video, followed by a rousing speech about Goodwill’s mission of generating lifelong connections to work.
Mr. Davis then talked about the importance of supporting Austin’s 2017 Community Workforce Plan through the education, training, and job placement services offered by Goodwill Central Texas. He then introduced VirTex Assembly, as our 2017 Hall of Honor Outstanding Business Partner of the Year. Brad Heath, CEO, whom accepted the award on behalf of VirTex, repeated his commitment to second chance employment and hiring talented employees from Goodwill.
Next, Jerry Davis introduced the keynote speakers for this year’s event, Commissioner Julian Alvarez from the Texas Workforce Commission.
Commissioner Alvarez praised the Goodwill workforce training model, saying, "Goodwill Central Texas is a model for helping people with challenges to gaining employment, get the education, training, and job placement they need to start a career.”
Commissioner Julian Alvarez III
The Commissioner then welcomed the first two 2017 Hall of Honor inductees to the stage, G.G. Little and Alyssa Kendall. The women, a mother-daughter team, are the first ever co-recipients of the Hall of Honor award for Inspirational Speakers. G.G. Little moved the room to tears when she described how her life, and the lives of her children, changed dramatically when she was incarcerated.
Alyssa Kendall, G.G.’s daughter, described the personal struggle leading her to drop out of high school after her mother’s incarceration. Alyssa completed her high school education last spring, when she graduated form The Goodwill Excel Center. Listen to their truly inspirational speeches below:
Finally, Mr. Davis then announced the winners of the 22nd Annual Hall of Honor Awards. Honored inductees were:
Outstanding Employee of the Year: Corey Robinson
Outstanding Graduate of the Year: Jose Escobedo
Outstanding Achiever of the Year: Larry Hawkins
Outstanding Youth of the Year: Octavia Martinez
Inspirational Speakers of the Year: G.G Little & Alyssa Kendall
Please watch their inspiring stories:
Jose Escobedo, the 22nd Annual Hall of Honor Outstanding Graduate of the Year, closed the ceremony sharing his own personal experience with the power of transformation. He asked attendees to remember that life can change in an instant.
“For each of us getting an award today, there are thousands more who need someone to guide and encourage them, to believe in them, to help them believe what is possible.”
Jose Escobedo, Sr.
A special thank you our 22nd Annual Hall of Honor sponsors, to the members of the President’s Circle, and all of our donors – we could not do this without you!
We look forward to celebrating Hall of Honor next year!