Young Mother Finds a New Way in Life Through Goodwill

Tarae’s childhood was typical of other girls growing up on the Olympic Peninsula. But when her father passed away from cancer when she was just 18, she lost her way. She began using drugs to mask her pain and was soon addicted. By the time she was 22, she was pregnant and living in a toxic environment. “Because of my addiction, I could no longer hold down a job for more than a year. I gave up everything I was passionate about for the drugs.”

When Tarae lost custody of her 9-month-old daughter, she knew she had to make a change. With the help of local social service agencies, she began treatment for her addiction, found a safe place to stay and began taking parenting classes. One of her mentors who recognized Tarae’s determination to turn her life around suggested she look into Goodwill’s job training opportunities. She attended an orientation session and was immediately drawn to the Barista Training Program. “Customer service has always been my gig,” she says.

About halfway through her training, Tarae was encouraged by her instructors to apply for an opening at Goodwill’s Hilltop Coffee Buzz. She interviewed and was selected for the position. “Goodwill met me right where I was at. I didn’t have to hide that I was in recovery—there was no judgment. They supported me and taught me the skills I needed to be successful.”

Today, Tarae is sober, has full custody of her daughter and is continuing her education. “I’m very grateful to Goodwill. I don’t know where I’d be otherwise. They taught met to act with integrity and love and to take one day at a time.

“Goodwill helps people change their lives. They helped save mine.”


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