Hope for Jaquelin

Goodwill Excel Center Graduate

“I have a car now. I have a home. I have more money, and more time to spend with my kids.

At one time, thinking about the future was something that made Jaquelin feel hopeless.  In fact, it was hard for her to think about the future at all, when she was struggling to just make it day-by-day.  Overwhelmed by the set-backs of underemployment, financial problems, and family issues, she was barely able to make ends meet.  “I didn’t have the money to make it out there on my own with my kids.” said Jaquelin.  A close friend saw her struggling and suggested investigating the resources at the Goodwill Excel Center.

Jaquelin didn’t take her friend’s advice right away.  “After I found out about Goodwill and the school, I put it off for about a year.”  Part of her hesitancy was due to her lack of transportation and child-care, which worsened the strong feelings of doubt she had about going back to school. So, when Jaquelin finally did enroll, she did so with fear and concern.  Then, Life Coach, Andy Amaya stepped into the picture and quickly helped her quash those feelings of doubt.  His enthusiasm and guidance gave Jaqueline the courage to press on.  “He said we would figure it out,” she said.  “He helped me put my kids in the daycare three days a week and he got me passes for the bus.  I’m so thankful for Mr. Amaya.  He helped get me everything I needed.”

The Goodwill Excel Center provided her with more than just the academics to earn her diploma: Jaquelin, whose native language is Spanish, was further empowered by having the chance to improve her English-speaking skills. One of her biggest regrets about not finishing school had been missing the opportunity to do this, and she knew strengthening these skills would bring her even closer to a family-sustaining income. She had hopes of sustaining her family in another way, too; to give her children the platform for a better future. Jaquelin reached this goal.  She was teaching her children the power of education every day as they watched their mother go to class.

With the help of the Goodwill Excel Center, she was able to build on her successes, taking great strides towards a better life. Soon, she was taking an even bigger stride–and this one was taken to cross the stage as a high-school graduate and receive her diploma.

By helping Jaquelin link learning with work, the Goodwill Excel Center has enabled her to transform her life. “I have a car now.  I have a home. I have more money, and more time to spend with my kids.  I’m more successful and [feel] more secure about my life.”

Jaquelin now works as a teacher’s assistant at a pre-school–but she has even bigger plans for her future. She’s hopeful now, and where she once saw only dead-ends, she now sees new avenues.  “My dream is working at Goodwill… maybe in a position at the Goodwill Excel Center, or in administration. I have so much love for Goodwill that I see my life helping other people and helping students.”

The Goodwill Excel Center makes a difference in peoples’ lives by providing specialized learning plans, life coaches, and other services at little-to-no cost to adults aged 17-50.  Its mission is to empower students like Jaquelin, offering the opportunity to gain the knowledge, skills, and credentials that help make lifetime connections to work.