#MissionMonday - Fran

Every Monday, we'll be posting a new story of how our mission has assisted people in the community. Be sure to check back each week for a new and inspirational story of someone who was helped by Goodwill Manasota. Changing lives through the power of work...it's what we do.


Fran visited the Goodwill Job Connection office looking for a part-time position. She was interested in the high school program, as she was just finishing high school, but the school program slots were full. Fran returned to the Job Connection office determined to find another position. Robin, Goodwill’s Career Development Facilitator, assisted her with an online job search. 

While she was looking for other positions, the Goodwill Team Leader Coach came in and spoke with her. He asked if Fran would consider applying for a full-time job with Goodwill. Fran explained that she was on the autism spectrum and was not sure she could handle 40 hours per week. The TLC suggested that she try it to see how she would do. He explained that Goodwill was a good place to work for people with all kinds of barriers to employment. Fran agreed and Robin assisted her with the application. Fran got an interview and she aced it. She began working at Goodwill shortly thereafter.

Fran did have some struggles—she had to arrange transportation each day since she did not drive, sometimes she felt nervous at work, sometimes loud noises in the back room startled her. However, with a little assistance from the TLC and her GoodPartner Coach, Fran stayed on the job and was a good team member. 

Fran became more and more confident and began setting goals with her GoodPartner Coach. One of her dreams was to enlist in the U.S. military. With encouragement from her family, she applied. A short time later, she got word that she had qualified via her application and her online assessments. Fran was very excited and nervous at the same time. She waited to find out when she would be reporting for duty.

Two months ago, Fran got a letter from the Air Force indicating she could begin basic training at the end of the month. Fran was still nervous. She questioned her abilities and worried that she would become overwhelmed. Her GoodPartner Coach reminded her that she had felt the same way when she applied to work at Goodwill, yet she had surprised herself by how much she was capable of handling. Fran’s Coach told her that she could write her at any time and assured her that she would always get a response back.

Fran departed for her military service and has not looked back. She is now working toward her dream of serving in the U.S. Air Force. She is very glad she came into the Job Connection office on that fateful day. Little did she know her job at Goodwill and all the support she received there would lead her to bigger and better opportunities.

Fran is glad she had the Goodwill team to push her when she doubted her abilities. It’s what we do …