Meet Cynthia

GCTA Graduate

“They helped me with everything. They stayed late to help me with catch up with schoolwork when I needed it.”

At one time, Cynthia was fighting what felt like an uphill battle: struggling with unemployment or low wages, the day-to-day challenges of poverty kept her from even imagining a better life. When she found herself homeless, just meeting basic needs began to require every bit of her time and energy. She was overcome with anxiety, and the trauma of familial conflict, loss, and eviction had almost convinced her that things would never go right again. She began to believe that she was simply destined for a life without fulfillment of any kind. Without family to financially or emotionally support her, she turned to Goodwill Central Texas.

Cynthia was encouraged when she learned what resources she could get with the help of Goodwill, and it was a beginning. She was engaged in a prolonged legal case, though, and her days were often complicated by court appearances. She was so preoccupied with these legal issues, she says, that she missed her first appointment with a Career Case Manager. Thankfully, her initial introduction to Goodwill had convinced her that she needed an outside influence and strong support system, and she was determined to fight hard to get these opportunities, even if it meant starting over.  She made up her mind to revisit her Career Case Manager, and she began to reshape her future.

Cynthia found that the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of her situation fell by the wayside with the help of Goodwill, and she began to push towards hope. Soon after she had committed herself to improving her situation, she met her husband. Cynthia found marriage and motherhood fulfilling, and this strengthened her resolve to make a better future for herself and her family. She knew that insufficient skills and education were limiting her wage and job opportunities, but Goodwill was there, reminding her of the possibilities. Armed with resources such as childcare and transportation, she moved forward by enrolling in the Nursing Assistant Training Program offered by the Goodwill Career & Technical Academy.  “I decided to start a career in healthcare because I was finally free from all the stuff that had been keeping me from moving on.” she says.  She proved her dedication through hard work, but she gives most of the credit to her instructors and teachers, who she says were incredible. “They helped me with everything. They stayed late to help me with catch up with schoolwork when I needed it,” she says, adding that her teacher was not only understanding and dedicated, but created an amazing classroom atmosphere, too.

After successfully completing training, Cynthia Began working for one of the largest healthcare systems in the Austin area. She’s assigned shifts across the entire hospital system, which means she gets to work at several different hospitals. It also means a new challenge every day, something she loves. Challenges are something that Cynthia now welcomes—she’s not scared to face new things because she’s worked to build a stronger foundation for her life. Cynthia continues to get support from the Goodwill Team, who have encouraged her to pursue a secondary education. This summer, she will be starting at Austin Community College, where she will be working towards a degree and career as a registered nurse.

“Without Goodwill, I would still be struggling,” she says, “I am very grateful for the opportunities that Goodwill has opened up for me. They helped me overcome a lot of obstacles.”