Success Story: Nadia Patterson

When Nadia came to the Goodwill Job Connection in Gastonia, N.C. in August 2013, she was in desperate need of permanent employment. She had moved from New York as a single mother with her three children, but lacked a high school diploma or GED, which made finding a stable job challenging. Nadia had heard about the Job Connection in town and knew it was somewhere that could help her get back on track.

“I was at a low point in my life in between jobs and needed something stable to provide for myself and my children,” said Nadia.

Nadia registered at the Job Connection, where Goodwill staff quickly referred her to a GED class beginning in October offered through the Gaston County Literacy Program. She signed up the very same day.

“I knew getting my GED was where I needed to start and pick back up where I left off with my education,” said Nadia.

After attending class every day and improving her outlook on her situation, Nadia proudly received her GED two months later in December 2013. Following the accomplishment, Nadia continued to visit the Job Connection in search of employment. However, she knew she wanted to further her education and pursue her dreams in the medical field. With the continued support of Goodwill staff, Nadia enrolled in Kaplan College in Charlotte while working as a personal care aide at night.

Despite many hard days of school and work, Nadia graduated in December 2014 with a Registered Medical Assistant diploma from Kaplan College. One month later while applying for a cashier position at her local Walmart Neighborhood Market, Nadia stopped the pharmacist walking by to ask for help with her job application. Staff pharmacist Toiya was surprised when she saw Nadia’s credentials and portfolio. After speaking with Nadia, Toiya knew she wanted Nadia as a member of her pharmacy team. That same month, Nadia obtained full-time employment as a pharmacy technician at the store and in March 2015, she was named the Customer Service Champion of the Month.

Nadia was recently awarded one of three GoodWork! Awards at Goodwill’s annual Cornerstone Celebration on May 21, 2015. While accepting her award on stage, Nadia told the audience, “If there was a thought that I could leave with you all, it would be that it is never too late to pursue your dreams…never give up on yourself.”

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