How Goodwill Central Texas is Transforming the Future




Goodwill Central Texas held our 21st Annual Hall of Honor Celebration on Tuesday, October 18th. The event was a moving experience for everyone, from Karen Joy Keith speaking about her journey from incarceration to a new career, to Matthew William’s impassioned summation of the state of Central Texas today and for the future.

Jerry Davis, President and CEO of Goodwill Central Texas, kicked off the event followed by a short video about our future workforce – from an unexpected perspective! See for yourself…it’s pretty adorable.

Jerry then talked about how we can create the tools for future generations to succeed, and help make their dreams become a reality. “We know that work is the answer… and access to education is the answer to better work,” said Jerry. Beyond transforming the lives of families, Goodwill has another very real impact – $227 million in economic output – on our community.

We all know the Goodwill mission of generating lifelong connections to work, but without our amazing employer partnerships, there would be far fewer jobs. While Goodwill may be the 17th largest employer in Central Texas, did you know over 80% of our clients and students are placed within local businesses? That’s why we were proud to honor HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital as our Outstanding Business Partner of the Year. Bradley Dinsmore, CEO of HealthSouth, accepted the award.

Hear more about their partnership with Goodwill:

During lunch, the guests enjoyed the “Cityscape” centerpieces, illustrating the challenges our community is facing and how, together, we will lift people out of poverty by building career pathways in Central Texas.

Karen Joy Keith, mother and grandmother, gave a heartfelt discourse about her journey through the prison system after making one bad choice. After she was released from prison, with the help of Goodwill, she found real hope and a future. 

Karen was followed by Matthew Williams, Vice President of Education at Goodwill Central Texas. Matt spoke some hard numbers about Central Texas and asked some even tougher questions, like how do we bridge the economic divide, and how do ensure that our community’s future is strong? His answer: we do it together.

But it is a big task. Find out more about it HERE.

“This might surprise you, but Goodwill is not in the business of operating stores,” said Matt. “We are the catalyst, and the accelerator of hope and achievement. We will forever be dedicated to helping our community members fight their battles against poverty, low expectations, lack of opportunity, and judgment. We will help them help themselves to become self and family sufficient, create springboards for their children, and change the landscape of Austin.”

Jerry Davis then announced the winners of the 21st Annual Hall of Honor Awards.
Honored inductees were:

Watch their inspiring stories:


Jamie Laguarde, President of Sedera Health, Board Director for Goodwill Central Texas, and member of the Education Board for The Goodwill Excel Center, then gave the closing statement. Especially interested in educating our children, he spoke to the need to continue lifting Central Texans out of poverty, and the need for investment of both time and funds from the entire community. “We have a real chance to make generational change, from the parents to the children, and on to their grandchildren,” he said.

Lastly, we’d like to offer a special thank you to our Tribute Sponsor, University Federal Credit Union. We appreciate your support!

 “When you hear our client’s stories, think of how together, we can battle poverty and make Austin an amazing place to live…for everyone. Not with handouts, but with real opportunity. With your investment and partnership, and some old fashion grit, we will provide the best tools to empower each member of our community to be the very best versions of themselves. Together, we ARE the solution.”
- Matt Williams, Vice President Education, Goodwill Central Texas



Hall of Honor


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