Cassandra first came to Goodwill in 2011, homeless and with two young children, in need of a job.
“I moved to Charlotte from Baltimore, M.D. with my two children. I didn’t have a real plan. And let me tell you that’s scary, particularly for a parent,” said Cassandra. “After trying to make a better life for myself on my own, I realized I needed some help, and this was when I learned of Goodwill.”
She quickly enrolled in the banking and customer service occupational skills training course through the Goodwill Job Connection on Freedom Drive. She attended the class for two weeks before determining she needed immediate employment.
“It was tough for me to admit I needed help,” said Cassandra. “I have learned from Goodwill that asking for help doesn’t make you weak. Asking for help makes you human.”
Cassandra’s career counselor at Goodwill referred her to GoodWork Staffing, where she was placed in several temporary positions, including the Mecklenburg County Department of Child Support Enforcement and the Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services in the Community Resources division.
Although she made quite the impression, there were no long-term opportunities available, and Cassandra returned to GoodWork Staffing. In July 2013, she was placed on a temp-to-hire assignment with the Mecklenburg County Health Department as a patient administrative assistant.
“I not only received employment training, but I was quickly placed in a job where I felt valued, appreciated and able to support my family,” said Cassandra. “And even when one assignment ended, I was quickly placed on a job where I was able to execute the professional skills I received in a productive way.”
Three months later in October 2013, Cassandra was hired as a full-time, permanent Mecklenburg County employee with all the benefits afforded to such staff, where she continues to thrive today.
“I sustained connections and all along the journey, and I continued to share how Goodwill not only helped make me a better person, but how it could do the same for others,” Cassandra said.
Cassandra was recently awarded one of three GoodWork! Awards at Goodwill’s annual Cornerstone Celebration on Thursday, May 21, 2015. During her acceptance speech, the audience of nearly 700 was moved by Cassandra’s poise and gratitude.
“I stand in front of you today, a humble, yet incredibly enthusiastic working mother, at a job where I give value to those I assist daily,” Cassandra remarked. “I am a changed woman and the future I see in my career is a miracle. I am not only a confident individual, but I am a confident mother, showing my children what it means to never give up and that failure is not an option.”