Meet Debbi

Goodwill Program Participant

“I really like working with children…they see the person first.”

“If you want something badly enough, you’ll figure out a way to do it.…”

Watch Debbi’s story to see how Goodwill was able to help her regain her independence.

When Debbi was just an infant, she was diagnosed with cerebral palsy—a condition that causes a permanent physical, developmental disability. However, Debbi has never allowed her disability to limit her opportunities. She attended college, served as an AmeriCorps member, and found her passion working with children.

While successful in many ways, Debbi has faced adversity due to her disability. While she was able to get a job after AmeriCorps, she lost it at the height of the recession, and spent the next five years in a fruitless search to once again find work with children. She was often met with the perception that her disability would limit her capacity to successfully satisfy job requirements.

Not one to give up, she came to Goodwill for on-the-job training and job coaching. Debbi was paired up with Corey, her Case Manager, and they quickly created a plan of action. After finding jobs matching her skill set and passion, Debbi went to job interviews with Corey by her side. During the interviews, Corey offered her prospective employers on-the-job coaching services to ensure Debbi’s success in her new role.

Debbi was elated when was offered a job at The Thinkery – the new Austin Children’s Museum. Now, when you visit the museum, you’ll often be greeted by Debbi’s beaming smile. She not only provides that all-important first impression, she helps facilitate early learning opportunities through the “Baby Bloomers” class and promotes event awareness. Debbi is thrilled to be working with children again and feels like she is back to contributing to the community. “I really like working with children…they see the person first.”