Dear Goodwill Angel,
All this week, people around the country are celebrating Goodwill Industries Week. I’m spending the week celebrating YOU! I would like to start by thanking you for allowing me to share my journey in the hospitality industry. For years I was the primary caretaker for my grandmother. After she passed away I was unemployed for over a year. So I went to the Department of Employment Service for help. I met a recruiter for Goodwill’s Job Training Programs, who talked to me about Goodwill’s Hospitality Training Program. I decided to attend the orientation and was selected for the program.
We had to take tests and do an interview. Back then, the program lasted 11 weeks. But once it was over, there was no stopping me now from having a career in the hospitality industry. Years ago, I use to wonder, “How do these people get these jobs in the hotel?”
Now it was my turn! Roma Thurin, Goodwill’s Senior Development Officer, helped me complete my application with the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center for a housekeeping position. Roma had established a business engagement relationship between Goodwill of Greater Washington and the Hilton.
I remember my interview with Jace, the Room’s Division Manager. I was more excited during that interview than I am today. I told Jace back then, he would not be disappointed if he gave me an opportunity to work. It was an awesome moment for me when after we finished talking he started showing me around the hotel and in the housekeeping department.
He also introduced me to the Assistant Manager, Freddie. I remember saying “thank you, thank you, and thank you!” when I left the hotel. And as I was walking to the bus stop, I immediately called Roma and told her all about the interview and how I knew I had gotten that job!
You see, as I had already mentioned, I had been unemployed for more than a year and going through a lot of trials and tribulations. For example, I didn’t have any money. I had to depend on my daughter to pay my bills. I didn’t have a car. But thank Goodness for Goodwill who gave me $10 daily travel stipend so I could use public transportation to get to and from the training program.
It was also during that time I had been displaced by the DC Housing Authority and was living in a very undesirable location. But once the job with Hilton came through, I got a new place to live, I have a new car, and I am paying my own bills. I am doing so well now, I can help my daughter. I pay for my grand baby’s cheerleading tuition.
Let me finish by saying I am very grateful to Hilton Alexandria Mark Center.
Everyone there has been wonderful to me. Within 10 months, I received the Employee of the Month and a promotion to Housekeeping Coordination Supervisor.
I am looking forward to my future and career pathway at Hilton. I also want to thank everyone at Goodwill of Greater Washington for putting together a Hospitality Job Training Program. Everyone at Goodwill, from my instructors, career coaches, and to the business services team, was so awesome and really cared about my success.
Thank you for helping me to get where I am today! But there are still others out there who, like me, need a hand up in order to reach their full potential. And while I celebrate you this week please consider helping those who still need help by donating to Goodwill today.
You Can Help Others, Like Valerie, By Supporting Goodwill’s Job Training Programs
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