Meet Brittney

Goodwill Excel Center Graduate

“Don’t let anything or anyone stop you from becoming a better you. Goodwill will help you, as long as you are willing to do the work.”

Brittney is a 37-year-old who dropped out of school at 16. She’s a single mom and a foster mother. And she’s transformed her life and to become a high school graduate, a college student, a public speaker, and a solid role model for her children.

How did Brittney go from dropping out of high school to becoming a college student and role model? The story begins when, at 15 years old, she lost her mother to a brain aneurysm. After experiencing a very traumatic year, she ended up pregnant with her first child. She dropped out of school, worked as a bus monitor, and did other odd jobs to scrape by. The children in the family had been placed with their grandmother, but her little sister went to a group home. When Brittney turned 17, she immediately sought custody – by this time, she had a good job with benefits so she could care for her. But in the back of her mind, she always thought she’d get back to high school and finish.

Over the course of the next several years, after removing herself from an abusive relationship, her brother passed away during surgery. Now, Brittney had four children to take care of – her brother’s son and three of her own. She worked even harder.

One day, Brittney saw a sign for The Goodwill Excel Center on the corner near her father’s house. “I’m going to go back to school,” she promised herself. She called and put her name on the waiting list with hope. Although it was a year later when she got the call, she was elated – she was in!

“That was the start of a new life for me,” says Brittney. In the summer of 2015, she went back to high school. While she was attending The Goodwill Excel Center, one of her teachers suggested she simultaneously attend The Goodwill Career and Technical Academy to obtain her Administrative Assistant Certificate. She did, and completed it before her graduation in June 2016.

“Being at The Excel Center propelled me to further my education by enrolling in the Adult Degree Program at Huston-Tillotson University,” said Brittney. She also worked through the Goodwill Staffing Agency to gain experience in the Administrative Assistant field. She currently works at Texas Department of State Health Services as a Clerk III, and plans to complete her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration.

As to the future? “I’d like to open my own business, to help others who may have mental disabilities, single mothers wanting to be self-sufficient, and to connect people released from prison with meaningful employment so they will not go back,” reports Brittney.

All the positive things about her new education and career path are making a positive impact on her children. Her daughter, 15, wants go to LSU to become a sports physical therapist. Her oldest son, 19, wants to begin college in the fall and go into psychiatry. Her youngest son, 11, is into school but also football, and has been a part of the Friday Night Tykes League as a right guard since last year. Brittney is sure all of the children will succeed.

Last thoughts from Brittney: “Don’t let anything or anyone stop you from becoming a better you,” says Brittney. “Goodwill will help you, as long as you are willing to do the work.”