Thankful for Goodwill: Anesia Woods Success Story

Anesia Woods faced many barriers in her journey to earning her high school equivalency. She was withdrawn from school in the 7th grade by her mother and was never re-enrolled. Her family was constantly moving, and she was always going back and forth between living with her mother to living with her aunt and uncle, who are now her legal guardians. Anesia missed three years of school and when she was 15 she attempted to re-enroll but was told she would have to repeat the 7th grade. Since she would not be able to enroll in an alternative school until she turned 17, and didn’t want to be a 7th grader at her age, she elected to wait.

Anesia was referred to Goodwill’s E-Squared program in the fall of 2020 by church members. As soon as she turned 17, Anesia joined the program in November. While studying for her GED, she worked in Goodwill’s Centralized Processing department where she sorted and categorized clothing to prepare for retail sale. Anesia was an excellent student and came to class focused and ready to work on preparing for

her tests. Anesia was also a star when it came to the worksite; she had perfect attendance and was reliable in completing any task she was assigned. In late May, Anesia completed her last test and became an official graduate of the E-Squared program, but she didn’t stop there. After Anesia earned her high school equivalency, she enrolled into Youth Job Skills where she completed the 120 hours of course work necessary to obtain a child development certification in late July.

With her high school equivalency diploma and course work in child care development, Anesia was hired at Clayton Youth Enrichment as an after-school specialist and has been working there since August 2021. Anesia says Goodwill has greatly impacted her life by helping her improve her education and leading her to stable employment. With the support of her E-Squared Youth Specialist, her aunt and uncle, and Goodwill, she was able to overcome the hurdles that limited her. She is now working towards full-time employment and plans to further her career in child care once she turns 18.