The official blog of Goodwill of Southern Nevada.

Success Story: A Lot Has Changed in 30 Years for Farrin Hawkins

30 years ago, we used typewriters to create resumes. 30 years ago we opened a newspaper and browsed the Want Ads to find jobs. 30 years ago, Farrin Hawkins went to prison, and now 30 years later he is a free man in a world dramatically different from the one he left.

When someone does their time in prison, and is then released we have very high expectations for them. We expect them to do things we take for granted like get a place to live, feed themselves, make money, and stay out of jail. But, can you imagine how hard that is. These people are literally starting over. And, without a job, how can they be expected to pay rent, buy food, get transportation, and clothing? That is asking a lot.

Thankfully there are many government funded and nonprofit organizations who can help people like Farrin who we referred to Goodwill by Nevada Job Connect. As you can imagine, after 30 years, Farrin had no idea how to look for a job. To make matters worse, one of the terms of his probation was he could not use a computer for any reason. Determined not to go back to jail, Farrin was not about to violate the terms of his parole.

Determined to help, Goodwill Resource Specialist Shawn Schwiesow, sat down with Farrin to understand the types of work he did prior to serving time and the types of work assignment he held down in prison to identify skills relevant to would be employers. Together, they wrote a resume tailored to help him land a job in food service, a job he desired.

For several weeks, Farrin sat with Shawn as she scanned Internet job websites and filled out applications (She did the work so he did not violate his parole). In the meantime, Shawn provided Farrin with a clothing voucher so he could put some professional clothing on his back for interviews. She also helped him secure his health card.

Soon, Farrin got a great job lead through Hope for Prisoners. LoLo’s Chicken and Waffles was looking for someone to help in their kitchen. Armed with his new resume, health card, and professional attire Farrin nailed the interview and landed the job.

Having established a financial foundation for himself through work, Farrin was ready to take the next steps to rebuild his life. He plans to continue working with Shawn and the Goodwill team to improve his employment status over time. “Words can’t explain how truly grateful I am to Goodwill for the help I’ve received. I will be in debt to Goodwill forever.” Farrin told Shawn. “It has been a comfort that someone has taken the time to help those that are down and out and mentally down. I wish more companies were like Goodwill. Whatever I go on to accomplish will be because of Goodwill.”

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