Success Story: Darren (Operation: GoodJobs)

Darren suffered from dyslexia in high school back in the 1970s – before schools properly addressed learning disabilities.  Although he struggled with the work and didn’t fit in, he refused to accept advice from his guidance counselors that his career goal should be settling for work in a store or gas station.

Since then he has served in Desert Storm as a Navy Bosom’s Mate, piloted ships, managed work parties, and served on three ships before the physical strain took a toll on his body.  Refusing to settle for less, Darren left the service, pursuing security and call center work for short term income, then attending the University of Washington, graduating with honors and a degree in Social Work in 2013.  He was lined up for a job in peer counseling with the VA but then federal hiring regulations forced the department to hire from within.  The blow was severe, but Darren was determined to prove to his son with learning disabilities that a normal life is possible – so he forged ahead.

A counselor in Veteran’s assistance at the Dept. of Social and Human Services directed him to check out Operation: GoodJobs with Goodwill.  The program helps transitioning service members and veterans with training and job hunting.  Soon Darren’s resume was polished, his mindset was positive, and thanks to a Goodwill Financial Education program, his budgeting and financial plan were back on track.  GoodJobs helping Darren with networking, creating volunteering opportunities to keep his resume current, and surrounding him with advice, a plan and an overwhelming positive atmosphere.  “GoodJobs has helped me figure out what will work for me to get that good job.  And I always tell people, once you figure out what works for you, the sky is the limit!”

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