Some Success Stories

Tad and Justin

As participants in Goodwill’s Hoolana Program for Adults with Intellectual Disabilities, we were given the opportunity to obtain employment in the Retail Production Department. Our developmental disabilities have made it hard to find an employer who would give us a chance. Being able to contribute to Goodwill’s success has helped us build our confidence. We’ve also gained new skill sets to help us become more independent. Goodwill makes us feel like we can do anything we put our minds too. We love Goodwill because they treat us with respect and dignity.

Tad and Justin are participants in the Hoolana Program for Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. The program provides participants with the tools and support they need to aid in personal growth and achieve self-sufficiency.


Through Goodwill Hawaii’s Employment Core Services program, I was able to focus on my strengths and overcome any doubts or perceived shortcomings I had about myself. I had an 8th grade education level, a history of drug abuse, a prison record, and no job experience. I had no idea how to deal with life outside of prison. I hadn’t had a job in 10 years, and with the world changing so much, I was sorely lacking in my self-esteem and confidence. I am now 30 years old and learning how to do the simplest things in life. I am so appreciative to Goodwill for having faith in me and for believing in me. After completing my program, I had not one, but two job offers. I was so excited and proud of myself! I am now working full time, and cannot imagine what I would do without the guidance of my Goodwill counselor. I can honestly say that this program is an invaluable asset to the community.

Tina is a participant of our Employment Core Services for Reintegrating Individuals program. ECSRI works with ex-offenders to reintegrate back into society through gainful employment.


I joined Goodwill’s First-To-Work program after I was laid off from my previous employer and had to rely on public assistance to survive because I couldn’t keep up financially. I’m so grateful to Goodwill for helping me to find full-time employment in their Maui store. I’m now back to being self-sufficient and have also learned how to budget my money better in case difficult situations may arise again. Goodwill was my “cheerleader” when I had lost hope, inspiring me to have a positive attitude and to reach my goals.

Jeanell was a participant in the First-To-Work (FTW) program on Maui. FTW helps low income families transition off of public assistance through employment training, placement and ongoing support.


Dropping out of high school was not an easy decision, but I had made some bad choices in life which led me on this path. I never knew how hard it would be to find a job without my diploma. At Goodwill Hawaii, they taught me how to fill out job applications and prepared me for interviews by setting up mock interviews.

I was able to use Goodwill as an employment reference and my youth specialist encouraged me to follow up with each job application I submitted. I now work at least 30 hours a week and still attend Goodwill’s Ola I Ka Hana program in Honolulu, as I am studying to get my GED.

Christian is a participant in our Ola I Ka Hana program on Oahu. This program mentors youth to achieve their educational and career goals.


At Goodwill’s First-To-Work Program in West Oahu, I received the tools necessary for me to obtain and maintain secure employment. I was struggling to find work as a single mother of two. I had never worked in the United States before and did not know where to start. Goodwill helped me find the courage to start applying and interviewing for jobs by teaching me the process of what I needed to do to get a job. At first, I was hesitant to be on my own, but now I know that I can always find the support I need at Goodwill. Thanks to Goodwill, I am now working and able to take care of my two children.

Melody is a participant in our First-To-Work (FTW) program in West Oahu. FTW helps low income families transition off of public assistance through employment training, placement and ongoing support.


With a new baby on the way, I needed to find a full-time job to be able to support my family. No one would hire me because of my lack of work experience. My previous jobs were all temporary.

I came to Goodwill and through the First-To-Work program enrolled in Job Readiness Trainings where I learned how to create a strong resume, search for jobs, and interview well. I was also able to gain work experience and new job skillsets volunteering with Habitat for Humanity. After completing my volunteer work, I applied for a full-time position at Habitat for Humanity and got it. I’m now proud to be able to provide for my family financially and am no longer a TANF recipient.

Marcus is a participant in our First-to-Work (FTW) program on Maui. FTW helps low income families transition off of public assistance through employment training, placement and ongoing support.