A community where the talents and value of all people are celebrated.

To support persons with disabilities and other barriers to independence in achieving their fullest potential as workers and as members of the broader community.

Goodwill helps persons with disabilities as well as people who are at an economic disadvantage, or may lack education or work experience.

Celebrating 20 years at Special Equestrians Chris earns Excellence Award

Chris with gifts and balloons On December 5th Goodwill Keystone Area celebrated the momentous 20 year milestone of a career that began in December 1997. Chris Goodbred’s personal career path was guided by his love of horses decades ago when he began riding both for therapy and recreation. A notable support in Chris’ long term success has been Jennifer Radick, Goodwill Employment Services Manager, who coordinated Chris’ initial job placement at Special Equestrians. 

Over the years, Jennifer has managed programs in Bucks and surrounding counties and in her current role began to work with Chris again as she was training new staff to support Chris. Together Chris and Jennifer have overcome workplace obstacles through perseverance and innovative accommodations. When Chris’ balance issues caused him to fall while cleaning stalls, wooden pallets were used to make a path and shingles were added to provide walking traction. 

As the Special Equestrians barn invested in facilities upgrades, some of Chris’ memory aids also modernized. 

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Trevor – "It's nice to be part of a team."

Trevor Success Story

As Trevor bustles through the halls of the Dauphin County Courthouse, he is smiling, yet focused. He realizes that people are counting on him. Trevor started working as an intern at the courthouse through Project SEARCH. In September 2016, Trevor was hired as an employee.

Dauphin County Clerk of Courts Dale Klein said, “It’s not easy finding qualified candidates and Trevor is a hard, motivated worker.” Dale added, “He’s learning to docket and helps with filing and communications, whatever is needed.’’ Commissioner George P. Hartwick, III said, “With various departments and many different kinds of jobs, we realized the county could provide excellent, real-world internship opportunities to people with intellectual disabilities.’’

For Trevor, he likes being part of a team. He said, “It’s nice to be needed. I like that people depend on me. I always wanted to work in an office.”

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John - "My Confidence is Much Better."

John Success Story

John is an example of a person overcoming life challenges through work. Prior to coming to Goodwill®, John worked at a shipping company and had a life set-back. Unfortunately, it took him out of the workforce. As he was getting back on his feet, he entered a Goodwill job training program that helped him manage the demands of work. The program gave John the opportunity to practice how to communicate, socialize, and cope in the work environment. 

John’s supervisor, Russ Negley, said, “In the beginning, John struggled with confidence. He questioned his own job performance, and at times he became frustrated while learning new tasks.” As the staff worked with him, John began to pick up the job and improve.

When a part-time employee position became available with the Goodwill Custodial Crew at PennDOT, John applied and got the job. John said, “Goodwill has been a positive experience - everyone is encouraging. My confidence is much better. I used to be a very shy kid, but now I’m not.”

John made advances in his personal development. Last year, John entered the Good Careers Start Here program, which offers assistance to people who would like to further their education. This year, John took a class at Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC). 

In June 2015, John received the UniqueSource Nettie Mann Award for recognition of his exceptional accomplishments, work ethic, and character. He said, “I’m honored. I got my award for my hard work. And, I’m going back to school so I can get a really good job.”

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Andri – Success through Hard Work

Andri Success Story
Success through Hard Work

“Everyone has to start somewhere,” said Andri.

Andri, a high school senior, has a great sense of understanding that entry-level work is a starting point and a stepping stone to something bigger and better. He said, “I plan to have other jobs, but I need to start here and work my way up through life because that’s what you do.”

Over the 2016 summer, Andri took part in the Goodwill Summer Work Experience & Assessment, also known as SWEAP.  This program gives teens and young adults with disabilities, between the ages of 16 and 21, the opportunity to gain real-world work experience and earn their first paychecks. 107 participants received paid job training at Reading High School, Goodwill Stores and Donation Centers and other local businesses. 

Through SWEAP, Andri, who is deaf, worked at Reading High School. Along with his job coach and other SWEAP participants, he completed a variety of tasks like painting, fixing desks and chairs and detail cleaning. 

His job coach Robin Shingle said, “Andri was able to help his work group come together.  Andri knows English, Spanish and sign language. He translated or interpreted for others and it helped everyone gel together.”

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Rebecca - I've Always Wanted to Go to College

Rebecca Success Story

As Rebecca sat at a desk with her laptop and books, she said, “I’ve always wanted to go to college…just like my sisters. It’s always been a dream of mine.” Her dream is coming true as she is taking classes at Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC), Lancaster Campus, and working at the college bookstore. She is proud to display her student ID card. She said, “I like being with other people who want to learn. It’s a great adventure.” 

Rebecca came to Goodwill seeking help to become more independent. After an assessment, she participated in several Goodwill paid work training programs, but her sights were always on education. Rebecca noted, “I knew I had potential.” In 2012, she earned her GED. 

When the time came, Goodwill Employment Specialist Linda Speldos helped Rebecca transition to a new chapter at HACC. Linda said, “Rebecca has made great progress. She has worked through anxiety and other challenges and has become more confident in her abilities.” Linda continues to help Rebecca with time management and gives her an occasional pep talk. 

Rebecca Success Story

Rebecca is an aspiring writer and a self-proclaimed bookworm. With her new found confidence, she recently wrote and gave a speech at a conference. She ended it by saying, “Wouldn’t it be fantastic if we could look into each and every one of us and see uniqueness?”

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