#MissionMonday - Tom

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 - TomTom is a legally blind teenager who participates in programming at the Manasota Lighthouse for the Blind. Goodwill’s partnership with the Manasota Lighthouse has allowed him to come to Goodwill for the past few summers to work as an intern in the Mecca Job Connection office. Tom has high aspirations and will not let anything stand in the way of his dreams.

While interning, he has been learning all about our local labor market and how to conduct an online job search. Then, once he graduates from high school, the skills he has acquired and the work experience he obtained through the internship will help him on his career path.

Kathy, the Career Development Facilitator at the Mecca Job Connection office noticed that Tom wasn’t eating lunch recently and remembered that last year, he couldn’t wait until lunch time. When Kathy asked him why he wasn’t eating, Tom mentioned that his mom was having trouble getting food stamps. Working with Tom’s mom and the Department of Children and Families, Kathy learned that Tom’s mom had inadvertently applied only for Medicaid and not Food Stamps and assisted with updating the family’s online application. Kathy helped the family correct the issue and the new food stamps would arrive within a week. She then worked with the staff at the Lighthouse and the Division of Blind Services to make sure Tom’s family had enough food to make it until the food stamps arrive.

Tom’s dream is to become a computer specialist and will set off for college to make his dream come true this year.

Tom has been a shining example of setting goals and overcoming obstacles, no matter what those obstacles are. He is grateful for the opportunity to serve as an intern with the Mecca Job Connection Team. And as for the Job Connection Team, they are grateful for the inspiration they got from their intern.