Services Center helps woman break out of her shell

Hannah first started attending the Ross Services Center about a year ago. She often settled in on a couch and watched TV shows, keeping to herself and not really interacting with anyone, but she has since blossomed into more of a social butterfly.

“Hannah was very shy when she first started attending. She would sit on the corner couch and watch TV or the other individuals, not really wanting to communicate with them,” said Melissa Baxter, the service center manager.

Hannah was attracted to Goodwill’s day program, though, because the staff and others who attend seemed friendly and interesting. As she participated in life skills training like cleaning, laundry, and money management, among others, that let Hannah live her life more independently, she slowly started coming out of her shell a little. She began asking to help clean staff clean the center which led to her communicating more and building relationships.

About 8 months ago, Hannah decided to join Goodwill’s Project Connect program. This way she could help out and continue learning new skills while earning her own income at the same time. She was a natural and enjoys working at Valero, a Project Connect business partner, across from the center.

“I do a lot of things over at the gas station. I clean the bathroom and the parking lot. I also stock items on the shelves. But I like working there because I get to see some friends come in, and I get to help them,” Hannah said.

She has especially excelled at customer service, greeting them at the door the second they walk in and making sure to tell everyone that she hopes they have a good day.

“Hannah has been a gem to work with, and her customer service skills are out of this world,” said Karen Whiting, Hannah’s Job Coach with Project Connect. “Hannah is very energetic, happy, funny, and always goes the extra mile. She performs all her tasks with a smile, and she is always willing to help other coworkers.”

Hannah puts her customer services skills to work with other relationships and has built friendships with others at the center. She’s more outspoken about wanting to do activities with others and go on trips with the center.

“Hannah has become very sociable since she started at the services center,” Melissa said. “She’s caring and helps with and checks in on those in the center, reminding them what they are doing that day. If they are looking sad or down, she’ll go up and ask them what’s wrong.”

“I love Goodwill, from the people I’ve met to being able to go and do work,” Hannah said. “I wouldn’t see myself elsewhere for a while because I like it here. Goodwill has helped me, and I know the services they provide can help others.”

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