#MissionMonday - Josh

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.

#MissionMonday - JoshJosh was diagnosed with a bipolar disorder and ADHD when he was a young teen. The symptoms had been hard to miss: he missed a lot of school, drank, had several run-ins with the police, changed schools many times and eventually dropped out altogether. 

Then, as an adult, he had no high school diploma, no transportation, was a convicted felon, unemployed, and had an unmedicated mental illness. He moved to North Carolina to live with his dad with the hope of getting his GED and some support to pay off outstanding restitution charges he owed to the courts in Florida from a trespassing charge. His “geographic fix” did not work. 

After a year, he decided to return to Florida and move back in to his mom’s house. Still faced with many barriers to employment, his main goal was to get a job so he could earn the money he needed to pay his fines to the court and get his driver’s license returned. He still desperately wanted to begin working on his GED.

 Josh’s mom learned about the Job Connection, after a day of shopping at the Goodwill Corporate Campus, and sent him to check out the program. Josh came into the office and heard about how the Job Connection worked. Together, Josh and Kathy, his new Career Development Facilitator, developed an individualized plan for employment that would serve as his roadmap for reaching his goals. Josh and Kathy agreed that the first step was for Josh to see a doctor so he could be properly medicated. Then, he would need to begin a job search, and then he could look into GED classes. Kathy referred Josh to the local National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), where he received the medication that would allow him to focus and concentrate.

Josh continued to check-in with the Job Connection. After several months of working with his doctor, he was beginning to feel that he was ready to focus on a job search. Josh spent many days in the Job Connection resource area combing through job leads and practicing interview skills. With Kathy’s help, he was able to apply for a number of jobs. One employment application Josh completed was for a position Goodwill. Kathy and Josh talked about the continued support he would get at Goodwill through the Good Partner Coach program. Within the week, Josh interviewed at Goodwill and was offered a job working as a team member in one of Goodwill’s stores.

Josh continues to get the support he needs from his Good Partner Coach. His Coach is helping him get his life back on track and to remain employed. They have talked about GED classes and Josh is ready to get started.

Josh experienced tremendous challenges associated with mental illness during his youth, but ever since he reached out for help from Goodwill, he has continued to see marked improvements in his life. Josh was glad to find out that there are other people who care about his goals. It’s what we do…