Success Story: Naimah

“I’m forever grateful to Goodwill, and I’m so happy to be a part of The Center for Digital Equity because they both are making sure that residents in Mecklenburg County and surrounding counties are able to get adequate help that they need,” said Naimah. 

Naimah is working as a Digital Navigator at The Center for Digital Equity, a career she loves, thanks to job training and job search services she received absolutely free of charge through Goodwill University, the career training division offered by Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont. 

“I really enjoyed it because I learned a lot,” Naimah explained of Goodwill’s tuition-free Data Analytics training program. “It gave me the opportunity to be able to learn something that I had no idea about; for instance, I learned SQL, a programming language. I also enjoyed the instructor. He was very knowledgeable. He was someone that you can ask a question. He also spent time after the class to make sure that if anyone had questions, we were able to get them answered.” 

Naimah was no stranger to Goodwill and the services the nonprofit provides. Years ago, through a program with the Department of Social Services, she worked for GoodWork Staffing for a short period of time. While working for the nonprofit, she met Goodwill Employer Engagement Specialist Craig Kalhagen. 

“I stayed in contact with Craig, just asking if there were any opportunities, and he shared information regarding the Data Analyst program,” Naimah said.

Craig was also instrumental in helping her interview for her current role as a Digital Navigator. Every participant that receives training through Goodwill University is offered wraparound services that include an Employer Engagement Specialist and Career Navigator. Together, they connect qualified Goodwill participants and graduates with employers, prepare them for interviews, and provide resume help – so they can land the job. 

With the help of Craig and Career Navigator, Courtney Papalii, Naimah did just that. 

“I’m able to assist residents by helping them with Internet services. I make sure that they have access to the free service [we provide] depending on the property that they live in,” she said when explaining her role with The Center for Digital Equity. 

Training programs like the one Naimah took are available free of charge to the community, thanks to shopping and donating at Goodwill’s 36 retail locations and more than 40 donation sites, in addition to corporate, community and philanthropic donations. 

“You’re doing something, and it helps someone else,” said Naimah. “That’s why I’m so big on giving back and being able to be there because someone was there to help me, and I’m so grateful for the work that Goodwill has done in helping me to see that there are so many possibilities out there.” 

If you would like to help fund Goodwill’s programs and services that we offer to the community free of charge – like the ones that helped Naimah on her pathway to prosperity – consider dropping off your gently used donations at one of our locations or making a financial contribution. 

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