“I take things to Goodwill all the time, but I never really realized where it goes. And I’m thankful to everybody who donates because without them I wouldn’t be here,” said Chasity Spruill.
Chasity now works as a Programmer Analyst with Cognizant, but just a short time ago the IT professional was working as a teacher.
“The first job I got out of school was teaching. I didn’t even have a degree for teaching, but they were like, as long as you have a degree come on and work,” Chasity said.
With a bachelor’s degree in computer science from North Carolina A&T State University, she always had a desire to work in technology, but after teaching for 7 years she realized she needed to brush up on all she learned.
That’s where Goodwill came in. After a simple Google search, Chasity learned about the Advanced IT courses offered at Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont through Goodwill University, our job training division.
“I could not believe it was free,” she added. Donations and shopping at Goodwill’s retail stores, as well as from community and corporate donors, fund the services Goodwill provides, free of charge!
Chasity enrolled in the IT Operations (Business Analyst/Quality Assurance Tester) course, where she learned about computer science principles and received hands-on training, as if she was on the job.
“We had mock projects that put me in the frame of mind like I was working at a company, and I learned terms that I actually use every day,” she explained.
Chasity received many opportunities through Goodwill. Prior to getting her current role, she also interned with Ally Financial. In 2021, the bank donated more than $50,000 to provide paid work experience and internships to more than 20 advanced IT and construction participants at the end of their training course.
Chasity has come a long way in just a short period of time but could not have achieved her success without the help of her Career Navigator, David Washam. Goodwill provides wraparound services to all participants to ensure they not only receive the best training but assistance with mock interviews, resume preparation and help landing the job.
“I really liked that he took his time with me. He kept me on track, and he even reaches out now that I’m done with the course, and I love that.”
David even encouraged Chasity to bring her biggest cheerleaders, her children, with her to graduation so they could see her honored for her achievements.
“I don’t even know if I could put it in the exact words. To see mommy stand up there and get recognized for all the hard work that I put in; they see me in the classes at night from six to nine and studying and to see that all of it is for something, it means so much,” Chasity emotionally shared.
Today, Chasity is preparing for her upcoming nuptials and enjoying her new role with Cognizant, which provides her with more time with her kids in a fully remote position.
If you or someone you know wants to donate to Goodwill to help support the nonprofits mission of building pathways that help people pursue the life they want to achieve, click here.