Goodwill’s Commitment to Second Chances: Mark’s My Goodwill Story

Before Mark started working at Goodwill in 2016, he was looking for a chance to start a career but had some roadblocks in the way.   

“I moved from California in 2008. But before that, I had been in prison for 12 years,” Mark shared. “Coming here was a fresh start. But when [companies] saw my record, nobody wanted to give me a fresh start.”

Mark owned a cleaning company, but the income was too inconsistent, so he came to Goodwill looking for some help with his job search 

“I went to Goodwill for resume help, but then I started working in the stores,” he said. “The store manager told me the first day, ‘You should be in management.’ Six months to a year later, she promoted me to Shift Manager and then Assistant Manager.”

As an Assistant Manager, Mark says that every day brings something different to his position.

“I like being flexible. I like the freedom and the opportunity to do a little bit of everything. I like talking and laughing with the customers and seeing people find a gem that they’ve been looking for,” he shared. 

Finding a position at Goodwill helped Mark build a life with more stability. 

“It helped me mentally and financially, because mentally, I was beaten up. Everybody was telling me no. In the eight years that I’ve been here, I’ve barely missed a day. Goodwill saw my record, and they still gave me a chance. So, I’m going to make good on the chance they took with me,” he emphasized. 

In April, Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont recognizes Second Chance Month, a time to raise awareness of the challenges facing people with justice-involved backgrounds and to spotlight the important work being done by community-based organizations to empower second chance individuals to achieve career and life success. Mark is a demonstration of our mission, growing from a participant we served to a Goodwill team member.

“[Goodwill] can help you get where you want to be, or at least take that first step,” he stated. “When I’m cashiering and a customer asks what the round up goes to, I get the opportunity to explain to them that I came through the program that you’re donating to. So, it makes an impact.”

Throughout his journey here at Goodwill, Mark has found close friends, many that he considers family, that have also inspired him.

“I’ve met a lot of good people through Goodwill,” he said. “I enjoy the people I work with; we’re like a big family. Most of us have been working together since I started; and some of them [worked here] before me. I was their peer and now I’m their manager, but they respect that, and I appreciate it. Everybody here has been so helpful. It made me believe in the Goodwill experience.”

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