Success Stories

Offering services to persons with barriers to employment and other life experiences is the mission of Goodwill.
Here you can view client testimonials, and share in their joy and accomplishments!

Joseph Stottlemyer

Prior to coming to Goodwill for services, Joseph had a strong work history with PetSmart. He worked as a stock clerk for more than 23 years until his position was eliminated.

With the desire to re-enter the work force, Joseph participated in the Situational Assessment program and then moved to the Work Adjustment Training program at the Stony Point Goodwill store. He learned various store responsibilities and showed that he was eager to work. The manager of the store took notice and, prior to completing the program, he was hired to work at the store. Joseph became an integral part of the team, while continuing to look for ways to grow and build a career. This lead him to apply for a position in the Internal Maintenance Department at Graton Rancheria Casino. He was hired and completed a ninety-day probationary period with perfect attendance and a willingness to learn everything he could about the position. The position requires Joseph to work the overnight shift and report to work at 2:00 a.m. This was a challenge, but Joseph has maintained employment success and held his position for more than a year.

Joseph is a valued employee at the casino. He continues to have perfect attendance, working the same overnight shift. Each day he demonstrates a willingness to go above and beyond the requirements of the job. Joseph is a testament to how a desire for self-improvement, hard work, and a vision of a successful career can lead to personal success.

Joseph is an inspiration to all those around him.

Elizabeth McCarley

Job Search Services

Elizabeth, the single mother of an 8-year-old daughter, was struggling to make financial ends meet. She had no job and no leads for employment–she was stressed, anxious and on the verge of becoming homeless.

“Every day I worried about losing our home. I had many jobs in my prior years and tons of experience, but I just wasn’t getting positive responses. A close friend recommended SonomaWORKS.”

Elizabeth was referred to the SonomaWORKS Job Search Services program at Goodwill – Redwood Empire. “The confidence the program has given me is immeasurable. This program has given me all the tools needed to be successful in the working world and I am completely changed because of it.”

Elizabeth gained an immense amount of knowledge on what employers are looking for and how to better present herself by building on the skill sets she already has.

“I feel extremely confident in myself. The program has made me value myself as an employee on a much higher level. My resume looks and feels amazing in regards to my skills and what I could bring to the table as an employee. With my new knowledge I know I can succeed. … I am no longer worried or stressed about job applications or interviews.”

Elizabeth has four upcoming interviews and feels confident that she will be a successful employee in the near future.

Sandra Hamilton

When Sandy came to Goodwill to the Lets Get Started With Job Search workshop, she mentioned she was feeling a bit intimidated about getting back into the job market. The last time she applied for a job was over 25 years ago and things have changed. Sandy said “my self-esteem was low and lack of computer skills froze my behavior. I was afraid and avoidant.”

Sandy discovered the wide variety of free workshops offered at Goodwill and resources for improving her computer skills. “I took every class offered. I learned how to write a resume and cover letter, how to dress and how to ace the interview. Armed with this newfound knowledge, I found the courage to move forward with my job search. I filled out 4 applications to start with. The results have been amazing. Every single job I applied for has resulted in a job offer. My outlook has completely changed from that of a person who was too afraid to even try to one that knows I am highly employable. The transformation is so deep that my self-esteem and confidence in general has greatly improved. My experience at Goodwill has changed my life in unexpected ways that have impacted my feeling of safety and wellbeing. Thank you Goodwill!”

Tyus Sawyer

Tyus, who lives with Cerebral Palsy, struggled for years to find paid work in southern California. His family decided to make the move to the Napa Valley area in 2017 in order to find better services for his disability. Tyus entered Goodwill’s Situational Assessment program in the summer of 2018. He was thrilled to finally have the opportunity work in a store setting and earn a paycheck. Working for pay makes all the difference in the world to him. “It makes me feel accomplished, like I earned that check. It feels really good,” says Tyus. As his co-workers got to know Tyus, it became clear that he was able to motivate and inspire others with his exceptionally positive and encouraging personality. Everyone in the store was uplifted by Tyus’ can-do attitude and optimistic perspective. Tyus says, “My outlook on life is no matter what you are going through, there is always somebody who is going through something a lot worse. As long as I get a chance to wake up in the morning and have one more day to get it right, that is just fine with me.”

Tyus has formed great friendships with his Goodwill co-workers, and they have embraced him as part of the team. “The people are wonderful”, Tyus says. “They are
really helpful and very understanding. Very patient. I couldn’t ask for a better team.”
Tyus is now participating in the Work Adjustment Training program at the Napa
Goodwill store as he continues to build his work skills and stamina. Everyone at the Napa store has thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Tyus and being a part of the progress he has made. His kindness and positive words have inspired all that have had the privilege to work alongside him.

Jordan Reinman

“There have been a lot of things I’ve learned about myself during my time in
assessment. I’ve learned that it’s ok for me to go at my own pace, that even
when I get overwhelmed and I think I’m going super slow, I’m really not
working as slowly as I think. I’ve learned not to let my anxiety stop me from
trying something that may be a bit more challenging. Most of all I’m learning
to take pride in how far I’ve come and to see my progress in life as an
accomplishment.”

Update: Upon completion of her Work Adjustment Training, Jordan was hired
as a Job Coach in the Situational Assessment program.

Fawna Pintor

Fawna a homemaker who homeschooled her four young children, had just become a single mother. She and her family were on the verge of being evicted and she was trying to figure out how to meet the needs of her family. She felt hopeless, lost and abandoned. She wanted to continue to homeschool her children, but needed to make some tough decisions and changes. Fawna went to SonomaWORKS for assistance with food and housing and was referred to Goodwill – Redwood Empire. “I was nervous stepping into the program. I didn’t feel comfortable or confident. I felt like I didn’t have the skills to sept out of my past label as mother, wife, homeschool teacher.”

“I started to regain my confidence and my knowledge of my gifts. I learned how to speak clearly and know that I have great skills to share with a business and with others … I know that I am a provider, teacher, leader. I know that my compassion and patience is a gift. I know that I am a positive role model for young children, and I am so grateful that I have been able to re-learn and trust that I am an asset to the community.”  “ I see a bright, full and beautiful future. I am amazed at how wonderful I feel. I have a job, a healthy family, a safe place to live, and a confidence that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to do.”