#MissionMonday - Keith

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 - KeithWhile in college, Keith worked at all sorts of jobs but didn’t manage to keep them for very long because he did not feel focused or motivated. His mindset at the time was that he could always find a job and someday he would have a college degree—so “job hopping” did not seem like a problem to him. 

Keith managed to stay in school even though he was trying to support his girlfriend and their son.  However, he was hanging out with the wrong friends in school and ended up getting arrested. That’s when his life became very complicated. He found himself on probation, trying to make child support payments, trying to finish college and living off refund checks.

He started to give up several times but his mom told him not to come home – she said it was important to finish school.  His mom’s advice did not make sense to Keith because his bills were mounting up and he was concerned that a college degree wouldn’t matter anymore because no one would hire him if he had a prior arrest. Now, those jobs that he thought that he could always get did not materialize. And the jobs he could get were jobs that required a shovel and a strong back. Keith had both those things – but he knew he did not want to spend the rest of his working years doing that kind of labor. 

He worked the jobs he could get and somehow managed to finish school, but things did not seem much better. Now he had a degree – but he found a tight job market and few employers willing to give someone with a criminal background a chance. His bills were overwhelming him: he was paying off student loans and still trying to make his child support payments. He applied for jobs all over town – but even though his previous arrest was for a misdemeanor, he simply could not find a job.

Keith says he “was on the verge of insanity.” One day, his cousin suggested that he go with him to the Goodwill Job Connection.  Keith had no idea what a Job Connection was, but with nothing to lose, he went. There, he met Diana and Cathy. Diana helped him address his financial crisis and Cathy talked with him about employment.

Keith says Diana and Cathy provided him “with world class customer service. I was impressed – and those two ladies meant business. They wasted no time in helping me build my resume. I thought they would not be able to get me a job because of my background. My, how I was wrong! They not only helped me get the job here at Goodwill (one of only a handful of second chance employers in town), but they also helped save my life. Thanks Diana, Cathy and Goodwill.”

It’s what we do...