Meet Lauren

GCTA Graduate

“I was at the lowest point in my life. Because of hard work and Goodwill’s help, I have a roof over my head.”

“I was at the lowest point in my life. Because of hard work and Goodwill’s help, I have a roof over my head.”


Almost ten years ago, Lauren was in a very bad place and made the choice to commit a crime. Although authorities never caught her, as time went by, she couldn’t live with her decision and turned herself in. A prison sentence followed, but she was relieved to confess and make amends for her crime.

Upon her release, Lauren was ready to get back to her life, but going to prison meant she had lost her job, her home, and her possessions. She was stranded without housing and struggled to find work.

“I never knew getting a roof over my head would be so difficult,” said Lauren. “No one wanted me. I was losing hope. I was getting desperate.”

Then, she learned about Goodwill and things changed fast. She was assigned a career case manager who helped her overcome several huge hurdles she was facing. With the assistance of the SNAP program, she got food on the table. Goodwill helped place her in a new job and was able to find housing through the Foundation for the Homeless Lauren also took financial literacy classes to create a livable budget. And to begin a new career path, she enrolled in courses at the Goodwill Career and Technical Academy!

Individuals with a criminal background often have nowhere to turn. But because Goodwill Central Texas was there to offer a hand up, Lauren is transforming her life through work.

Lauren graduated with a professional certificate and was ecstatic to take a position as Receptionist at Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS). She’s glad to be the first to greet (“With a smile!” she says) every client when they walk into the DARS offices and the first voice to aid clients in their journey for assistance as she handles the switchboard.

Not only has Lauren launched a new career – she’s created a new life!

Lauren sums up her first year out of incarceration with humility and gratitude, “I feel so blessed. And it’s because of Goodwill. I love my life and my work – and that shines through in everything I do, every day.”


Recently, Lauren accepted the position of Donation Acquisition Specialist in Community Engagement at Goodwill Central Texas. She’s continuing to utilize her great skills with customer service, as the person who follows up on all donation scheduling and pickups in the Central Texas area. “This was my ultimate goal,” says Lauren. “The first day I visited Community Engagement, I knew this is where I wanted to be. Now it’s a reality!” Look for Lauren’s smiling face at upcoming donation events!