Washington Woman Builds Better Life With Goodwill's Help

ROCKVILLE, Md., May 10, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Autum Beel Named One of Goodwill's 2010 Graduates of the Year Goodwill Industries International recently named Autum Beel one of its 2010 Kenneth Shaw Graduates of the Year for overcoming an addiction to drugs and for developing a promising career and strong family.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090716/DC47803LOGO) Beel became addicted to crystal methamphetamines when she was 13 years old. She ran away from home when she was in high school and sold drugs to support her addiction. By the time she was 19, she had two children, but she asked her mother to raise them. Beel's drug addiction made it very difficult for her to find and keep a job, care for her children and lead a stable life.

After living on the streets for several years, she realized that she would need to make fundamental changes to get her life back on track. The first step for Beel, who was then 30 years old, was to stop using drugs. She hadn't worked in several years and didn't know how to find a job or support herself. She said her life changed after she saw an advertisement for free job training at Seattle Goodwill Industries(R) and signed up for its retail and customer service training program.

During training, she learned the valuable customer service skills that employers look for, such as operating a cash register and merchandising on a retail sales floor. She also learned how to search for work and interview for potential jobs.

Upon completion of the Goodwill(R) program, she had the newfound confidence she needed to land a job.

A senior job placement specialist at the Goodwill helped Beel prepare for an interview with a recruiter for a Fortune 500 company, who was impressed by her energy and enthusiasm and hired her as a cashier. She was soon promoted to head cashier, is currently thriving and hopes to be promoted to department supervisor.

"When I was having a hard time in my life, I didn't think I could ever make it," said Autum Beel. "Goodwill helped me get a job, and now I've been clean and sober for almost three years. I have my kids. I have my own place. It all started when I walked into Goodwill. That day changed my life." The job she found with Goodwill's help gave her the steady income, stability and independence she needed to improve her life. Within months of finding work, she moved into her own apartment, and her children were able to move in with her.

She also recently became engaged and is looking forward to a brighter future with her family and career.

"With Goodwill's support and Autum's hard work and determination, she is building a stable foundation for her family and thriving in a successful career," said Jim Gibbons, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. "Goodwill's programs give people like Autum the confidence they need to make positive changes in their lives." Goodwill Industries International's Kenneth Shaw Graduate of the Year award honors an outstanding person or persons for completing a Goodwill Industries career program and becoming competitively employed by a non-Goodwill employer in the community.

Twitter: @GoodwillIntl Facebook: GoodwillIntl ABOUT GOODWILL INDUSTRIES INTERNATIONAL Goodwill Industries International is a network of 180 community-based, independent agencies in the United States, Canada, and 13 other countries.

Goodwill is one of the nation's top five most valuable and recognized nonprofit brands as well as a leading social services enterprise (Source: Cone Nonprofit Power Brand 100, 2009). Goodwill agencies are innovative and sustainable social enterprises that fund job training programs, employment placement services and other community-based programs by selling donated clothing and household items in more than 2,400 retail stores and online at shopgoodwill.com. Local Goodwill agencies also build revenue and create jobs by contracting with businesses and government to provide a wide range of commercial services, including packaging and assembly, food service preparation, and document imaging and shredding. In 2009, nearly 2 million people in the United States and Canada benefited from Goodwill's career services. Goodwill channels 83 percent of its revenues directly into its programs and services. To find your local Goodwill, use the online locator at www.goodwill.org or call (800) 741-0186.

SOURCE Goodwill Industries International www.prnewswire.com Copyright (C) 2010 PR Newswire. All rights reserved -0- KEYWORD: Maryland INDUSTRY KEYWORD: WRK

FIN SUBJECT CODE: NPT

WOM

POL

AWD