HPOG Success Story: Abby at Goodwill Industries of the Valley

Publication Date: March 9, 2018

Abby smiling

Roanoke, VA

Facing personal challenges is a true test of character, and that was one test Abby never failed.

Though Abby struggled through high school with high anxiety and low self-esteem, she never let her disabilities define her.

After leaving high school, Abby was completely dependent on her parents; she did not have a driver’s license or a standard high school diploma. She was awarded a modified diploma upon graduating high school, because she lacked the required math credits.

When her mother learned about the healthcare training provided by GoodCare Career Pathways Program Visit disclaimer page , a local Health Profession Opportunity Grants program, she encouraged Abby to apply. Though her extreme anxiety was almost crippling, Abby was determined to increase her math scores to become eligible for the program. Upon learning that she had been accepted, Abby could barely contain her excitement.

Determination and drive became Abby’s personal trademarks throughout her HPOG journey. But it was a journey that was almost over as soon as it began. Upon learning that she was falling behind during her first week of class, she was immediately partnered with an adult education tutor. She worked tirelessly with her tutor and her career coach, and as her confidence grew, she began demonstrating the solutions to math problems on the white board for her classmates.

Even with the bumps along the way, Abby’s resolve never faltered. During her clinicals, she was hired as a CNA at Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community. When the provisional period expired, she was still preparing for the CNA exam, so she was brought on as a full-time, permanent employee, earning $10.50 an hour as she works toward that goal. She continues to keep in touch with her GoodCare tutor and case manager who, along with a disability coordinator, are working to make accommodations for Abby’s upcoming CNA exam so that her anxiety won’t interfere with her test performance. Once she passes the test and is fully certified, she has a job as a CNA waiting for her at Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community where she currently works in the laundry room.

Bolstered by her success in training and classes, Abby was inspired to try for her driver’s license. She recently passed that test and has been enjoying her new-found independence and sense of accomplishment.

Even on the difficult days, Abby refused to give up. Her constant smile and support of other students brought a light to each class.


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