Meet Harley

Goodwill Program Participant

“Goodwill is helping me accomplish my goals in life. Your heart and determination are helping me get to where I am today.”

Living on the autism spectrum all his life has meant many challenges for Harley, but he says working with Goodwill has inspired him to make his own decisions and to help the community.

Harley came to Goodwill Central Texas at the suggestion of a high school teacher, and participated in the Goodwill Summer Youth Program for three years. A job is very important to Harley because eventually, he wants to live on his own and he knows that having a job is the biggest step toward achieving that goal.

“Frankly this [working with Goodwill] has been awesome,” said Harley. “It has helped me get a job. My coaches at Goodwill said to me that if I work in my internship for six weeks, I could get a job and I have!”

Harley was only two when his biological father walked out on their family. “He even missed my sister’s birth,” he said. “I haven’t seen him ever since. [But] then my (Step) dad Lynn, he helped me and my mom and my sister. Without him, we wouldn’t be here today.”

Unfortunately, Harley has lived his life with bullying both in middle and high school, and he acknowledges it still affects his confidence greatly today. “When I was in high school, I was a little shy because I have autism.” With the help of Goodwill, Harley says he built up his confidence which helps his quality of life overall but especially helped him nail his internship through the Summer Youth Program.

Harley interned at the local H-E-B grocery store near his parents’ home as part of the youth program services provided by Goodwill, he also received other career advancement training like interviewing skills. Two weeks into his internship, he faced another challenge. “A customer fell over and was having a seizure. I went and helped her until the Manager arrived.” Harley admits he was a little scared, but realized that no matter what challenges occur, he now knows he is capable of overcoming them. In fact, he is now an employee at the store, after a recent successful interview!

Harley has a great outlook on life and his future. “I just want to say to people out there that you can accomplish anything, you can be a great person in the community.Goodwill is helping me accomplish my goals in life. Your heart and determination are helping me get to where I am today.”