The official blog of Goodwill of Southern Nevada.

Success Story: A Hand Up

Delores wanted off the streets and Martha was there with a hand up. 

After four years of worrying about where she would get her next meal and lay her head at night, Delores Monteiro was fed up with life on the streets. She knew she needed to rejoin the workforce to pull herself out of hunger and homelessness. It was not going to be easy, but like so many of the people Goodwill helps, Delores had seen the bottom and was willing to work hard to change her life.

Just because you want to work doesn’t mean anyone is going to give you a chance. After years on the street, Delores found her appearance, gap in work history, age, disability, and lack of basic job skills made her unemployable. She was told no repeatedly.

Not to be discouraged, Delores stepped into the Goodwill Career Connections Center at the Boulevard Mall where she met Goodwill Career Coach Martha Guizar. Martha can determine a person’s strengths, passions, and barriers to employment by asking questions and listening. After getting to know Delores, Martha put her on a plan of action. First, they identified Customer Service Representative as a job Delores would both like, and was well suited for. Second, they created a new resume for Delores that matched her skillset and personality to the job requirements. Third, Delores sat down with Martha and practiced interviewing for the Customer Service Representative position she wanted.

Encouraged and armed with a job goal, new resume, and interviewing skills it was time to work on Delores’ final remaining barriers. Delores knew how to type, but was very rusty. She was encouraged to come into the Goodwill Career Connections Center to practice typing. Her skills improved quickly and she now types 65 words a minute. Barrier removed. Her appearance still needed some work, and thanks to generous donors, Delores was provided with a clothing voucher to help her purchase professional attire to wear at her interviews. Barrier removed. And, with no transportation of her own, Delores was also provided with a bus pass. Barrier removed.

With her barriers to employment removed, all Delores needed was an opportunity. That opportunity came last week when received an opportunity to apply for and landed a Customer Service Representative job. Delores says, “Martha is the best for matching my abilities to work possibilities and for caring about my best interests.” Congratulations Delores and Martha, you make quite a team!

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