Rochelle’s life changed when her husband was diagnosed with a medical condition that left him unable to work.  Dealing with the life changes from her husband’s diagnosis, loss of income since he was their sole provider and what that meant for their family of three, Rochelle was very motivated to find a good paying job with benefits.

Rochelle was already enrolled in classes at Ferris State University for her Associates in Information Security and taking care of her son, when her husband was diagnosed. She was eager to get into IT and knew that certifications in this field are important. Knowing that money was already extremely tight, Rochelle kept her eyes open for training programs. She found Goodwill’s Technology Training on Indeed and qualified to receive free training. Women are a minority in the IT field and Goodwill of Greater Grand Rapids has a grant to provide this training to women, individuals with disabilities and other minorities at no cost.

Despite having taken college classes in IT, Rochelle felt she was still lacking some understanding of what she was learning. Rochelle said, “Our Goodwill Instructor Chet helped me put the pieces together. If you take everything Chet teaches you, you will be prepared for the test.” Rochelle said that not only did she learn the skills necessary for an IT position from Goodwill, she also received help with updating her resume and support with her job search. To help Rochelle gain experience and income during her training, Goodwill set up a position for Rochelle at a local company that test laptops after repair. This position was flexible with Rochelle’s schedule, allowing her to continue with her college classes and finish her training at Goodwill.

After completing Goodwill’s training, Rochelle took and passed both the A+ and Network+ certifications.  With these certifications under her belt and finishing her Associates in Information Security, Rochelle was able to secure a Tier 2 technician position at Mary Free Bed, where she repairs computers, resolves printing issues, completes software updates, and much more. This position is full time with benefits and offer paid study time. Rochelle said she loves her job and is already taking advantage of the study time to work towards her Security+ certification. Rochelle’s eagerness to learn and provide for her family was evident in her hard work and tenacious spirit. Goodwill Instructor Chet stated “Rochelle came into her first training course at Goodwill and her passion was not only evident to me but infectious to everyone. She was always wanting to learn more.” When asked what Rochelle’s advice is to others looking for a job, she said

Never stop trying, never think you already know what someone will say. The worst thing they can do is say that you are not qualified. The worst thing you can do is never try.

picture of success story participant Rochelle