Damita came to Goodwill of Greater Grand Rapids looking for help obtaining a part time job in a retail setting. With a self- proclaimed knack for fashion, Damita loves styling and merchandising. Her work experience in retail was limited though. She worked on and off for a retail employer for about six months but was unhappy there and had not been able to find the right job since. As a people person, Damita wanted to get out of her apartment, be around others, and take her mind off every day, mundane routines. Damita said “Being at work is my best medicine. It keeps me positive, which helps lower my depression and anxiety.”

Marty, long-time Goodwill career coach, knew that the Achieve program was the perfect fit for Damita. Achieve is designed to help adults looking to attain self-sufficiency through employment. By assessing skills, passion and motivation, Goodwill’s dedicated team was able to assist Damita with setting and reaching her long-term career goals while presenting the best version of herself to employers. Damita said “Two weeks of Achieve classes gave me insight into what I needed to do differently to become employed. Creating my resume, cover letter, as well as completing the class exercises helped me learn employment skills, how to reduce my anxiety, how to deal with conflict, and now I am able to do job searches using the internet.”

Damita applied and was hired at a Goodwill store. She strongly believes the job aligns with her passions, gives her structure, and helps to keep her mind off everyday problems in the world. The support she receives from co-workers and customers makes her feel part of the Goodwill community. Damita feels proud of her work ethic, which she attributes to her family. She expressed that her job makes her proud of herself and keeps her positive about life. Grateful to be able to work through the pandemic, Damita recently reached her first anniversary of employment.