My Goodwill Story: Adja

Adja, originally from Senegal, has achieved the American dream with the help of Goodwill. Eight years after starting with the nonprofit, she has worked her way up to Store Manager at our Sardis Road retail store.

Adja began her journey with Goodwill in June of 2014 through the Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC) program Rise2Work, a grant-funded partnership between Central Piedmont, the Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services, and the North Carolina Division of Health and Human Services that connects low-income residents with the education and training opportunities they need to secure a better-paying job or family-sustaining career.

“When I finished my English as a Second Language (ESL) classes at CPCC I was introduced to a new program called Rise2Work. I did the program for 3 months and after we finished the program, they placed us wherever we desired to work. I chose retail because I love to work with people,” Adja said.

It’s a decision she does not regret!

Adja started her employment with Goodwill as a Donations Material Handler and is now managing an entire store.

It’s bonds she built with colleagues and management at Goodwill that have helped her elevate within and outside the organization.

“I worked with the store manager of Second Editions, Diane, for five years. She helped me get my citizenship. She helped me a lot and even helped with the process for me to get my new house. Diane is like a mom to me, anything I need she helps me,” Adja shared.

Adja closed on her home in May 2022, and she is now a wife and mother. All of her accomplishments she achieved while working at Goodwill. She truly enjoys her job and encourages other team members to take advantage of the growth opportunities Goodwill provides them.

“When they give you a promotion, everybody sends you a message from everywhere. That means a lot, especially when you’re working,” Adja added. “I tell my team, I started from the bottom. If I can do it, you can do it. I like to push my people to go further than where I am right now.”

Adja’s story embodies Goodwill’s mission – building pathways that help people pursue the life they want to achieve. She started her journey as a participant of one of our family stability services, which led her to employment at Goodwill where she has worked her way up to Store Manager – now helping our retail stores collect and sell the community’s donations so others can access Goodwill’s free career training courses, job search support, family stability services and more.

You can begin a meaningful journey with Goodwill, too! Learn more about working with purpose at Goodwill here.

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