Meet Steve

GCTA Graduate

It’s a joy to work with people,” he said. “And I didn’t know that. I enjoy helping people. And every day it’s very rewarding.

Each day, when Steve Holcomb enters his job at St. David’s Rehabilitation Center, he is looking forward to helping people. His job as a nurse’s assistant, which he secured while completing the GCTA Medical Assistant Program, brings him into contact with patients as well as the nurses he supports. It’s the first time he’s worked in a career that requires working with people. “It’s a joy to work with people,” he said. “And I didn’t know that. I enjoy helping people. And every day it’s very rewarding.”

Steve came to Goodwill in 2021, when he joined the medical assistant program at the Goodwill Career & Technical Academy. A contribution from a local philanthropist brought together Goodwill Central Texas and Salvation Army to launch a scholarship program for graduates of the Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center, and Steve was the first scholarship recipient. He is now a certified phlebotomist and EKG technician.

The accomplishments don’t end there. Steve has already earned an award for patient care less than a year after graduation. Not only is he shining in his current role, but Steve made lasting impacts on and developed strong relationships with GCTA staff and his classmates.

This marks a new chapter in Steve’s life. When he learned about the GCTA program, he was living at the Salvation Army adult rehabilitation center. He committed wholeheartedly to the program’s ideals and made great strides toward his recovery. He soon realized going back to the physically demanding electrician work he had done in the past was not an option. “During that time, I knew I needed to work but it was too hard physically,” he said. “So, I needed to change my career.”

He credits Salvation Army counselor Sage Sanderson with helping connect him to the opportunity. Sanderson gave Steve the confidence to pursue the medical assistant program. At first, “I didn’t have enough confidence in myself to be a medical assistant.” When asked how he feels about Sage: “He’s my emergency contact,” Steve said.

Another person Steve said helped him immensely along the way was his instructor, Cynthia Jones. One moment in particular that he recalled was when she volunteered to let him practice his phlebotomy technique on her personally. “That’s what I call above and beyond,” Steve said. “And that will help give you the confidence to be a phlebotomist.”

In addition to his patient care award and becoming a certified phlebotomist, Steve said he is most proud that he was able to successfully make a career transition. “It’s the realization that I’m doing what I should be doing instead of what someone else wants me to do.” Another achievement was his purchase of a car with the $2,000 sign-on bonus he received from St. David’s.

For those just beginning a GCTA program, Steve said he would share a piece of advice from Cynthia. “Trust the process,” he said.

Are you interested in starting a new career? Many of the programs we offer are free for qualified applicants.

Check out our training programs at the Goodwill Career and Technical Academy today!