Success Story: Autumn (Barista Skills Program)

Meet Autumn, a Goodwill Barista Training program graduate with big plans.  Autumn came to Goodwill after escaping a Missouri high school life of gangs, drugs and the death of some of her classmates.  “I moved here to start fresh, to better myself, and to explore an art based career through my senior year at the Tacoma High School of the Arts,” said Mitchell.

School produced internships with Tacoma Art Museum and youth mentoring with the Puget Sound Rebels, a local theatre group.  Her long term goal is now becoming a physical and art therapist with young children who had been through trauma.  “…To help people see past their pain and to get them to being a full and happy person.”  But she needed income and a stepping stone to higher education.

A roommate told her about REACH and Goodwill, and soon she found herself entering the Barista Program at Tacoma’s Milgard Work Opportunity Center.  For Autumn, Barista training taught her more than coffee business management and barista skills – it focused her on her future opportunities and growth.  Now a canidate for employment at Starbucks, Autumn is hoping to use their higher education opportunities to reach for the stars.  “Being in REACH and the Goodwill system has really helped me realize that it is possible to go beyond where you come from … to realize your dreams.”


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