Everyone has dreams. However, some of our dreams are not exclusively our own. They do not come to us as we sleep at night or while lounging by the pool. They are hopes and ideals that are planted within us and then cultivated by the environment and culture in which we live. They are the goals that bind us as civilization and become one of the defining aspects of our society. For citizens of the United States this ethos is epitomized by what we call the American Dream.
The term “American Dream” was first used by author and historian James Truslow Adams in his 1931 book The Epic of America. He explains that “The American Dream is that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement.”
While this may have been the first time that the concept had been given a name the notion had already been in existence for centuries. The Declaration of Independence not only supports the American Dream but protects it in the famous line “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
We believe in the American Dream. Our mission of transforming lives and communities through the power of education and employment is founded on the principle that all people deserve the opportunity to achieve their dream through the independence and self sufficiency that comes from a sustainable career.
Before coming to Goodwill Nadine dreamed of having a set of keys that opened the door to her very own home. She has now been employed with Goodwill for seven years and has realized that dream. In 2015 she purchased her first home.
After a violent crime left Wilbert paralyzed from the waist down and unable to continue his job as a forklift operator, he came to Goodwill where he was able to fine tune his accounting and computer skills and find employment in Goodwill’s finance department, building a better life for himself. Wilbert’s dream, which once seemed unattainable, was also fulfilled.
Linda struggled with drug addiction for many years. After she completed a rehab program she wanted to find a way to kick start her life again and get back on the road to self sufficiency. She learned of the Marriott Marquis, Washington, DC’s hospitality Jobs Training Program with Goodwill and immediately saw opportunity.
She has now been employed at the hotel for almost two years, has her own apartment and even purchased a new car! A few years ago, this was a dream Linda once never thought possible.
These are just a few stories of the thousands of people who have come through Goodwill’s doors on their way to achieving their own American Dream.
For over 80 years we have been helping individuals with disabilities and disadvantages achieve their goals of gaining independence and self-sufficiency through job training and education.
Are you or someone you know struggling to find that path to the American Dream? If so, Goodwill can help.
Please visit Goodwill’s job training and education programs if you would like more information.