Demico’s Life Changing Experience at Goodwill.

Demico is an open and honest person about his life. He knows where he has been and where he would like to go. Recently, he was released from prison on parole and living in a halfway house. Demico knew that he needed to get a job to get his life back together. However, it was difficult for him to get a job with a record. Most employers wouldn’t consider giving him a job because of his background.

Demico knew about Goodwill and the services they offer. He contacted Goodwill about needing assistance with finding a job. He was referred to Chasity, Employment Specialist, who helped place him in the Employment Skills Training Program.

“The Employment Skills Training program is a 6-week assessment that teaches individuals the hard and soft skills needed to be successful in the competitive work field. We train our participants on their tasks according to the area they choose after coming through on a tour. They learn how to be on time, clock in and out, interact with coworkers and how to deal with every day work issues”, Chasity explained.

Demico worked hard on both his soft and hard skills during the first 3 weeks of the program then he was asked by Brad, Store Manager, if he would like to apply for a job. He graciously accepted a job in the backroom testing electronics and stocking merchandise on the sales floor.

Demico has excelled in both areas by making sure that the best merchandise is placed on the sales floor. “He takes pride in his work and genuinely cares about the customers experience. Demico is a great example of an individual not letting a barrier stop him from gaining competitive employment and keeping it”, Chasity stated confidently.


Make a difference in someone’s life today by donating to Goodwill of the Great Plains. Your donation is not only tax deductible, but you have the satisfaction of knowing that you are helping individuals like Demico in your community find job training and employment. Monetary donations directly support our mission programming by ensuring we have professional and trained staff, adequate facilities and technology to support individuals enrolled in our programs. We make it easy for you to donate funds quickly and securely online through PayPal. Donate now and find out how great it feels to support Goodwill!




Retail Team Member Spotlight

Tracy has worked at the Kiwanis store for 18 years. She loves working at Goodwill and appreciates that she was given the opportunity to be a part of an amazing mission.

“Goodwill has allowed me to meet new people both customers and team members. The people I work with have become family.”

Tracy, Retail Associate, Kiwanis Sioux Falls

Shelby’s Place to Belong

At first, Shelby was shy and hesitant to talk to people when she started Goodwill. Jennifer, Store Manager commented, “Our goal for Shelby was for her to overcome her shyness and we worked with her on a day-to-day basis by doing role play. We worked on her being more comfortable in the store and talking to team members and customers.”

Shelby credits the entire store at Worthington for helping her come out of her shell and be open to asking questions and talking to people. She feels more comfortable now being herself.

Shelby has been with Goodwill for 5 years and has continued to grow and challenge herself. She started out as General Retail Associate, progressed to Team Lead, and is now a Store Operations Leader.

Meeting new people and the variety of the day is what Shelby likes most about working at Goodwill. She likes meeting and talking to the customers that come in and how every day is different. Shelby appreciates at Goodwill there is a learning experience with every situation. Shelby has come a long way since she started and is thankful that Goodwill has helped her grow. Her goals are to become more confident in making decisions and creating a daily routine for each day.

A Dramatic Change in Eli Because of Goodwill Programs

For Eli, the journey he has made with Goodwill has been life-changing. Eli started in the Goodwill Pre-Vocational training program to work on his barriers. One of those barriers was communicating with people in a respectful manner in situations that arise in the workday.  Eli admitted that “it was challenging to stay calm around people when they made me angry.” He worked on this challenge with his skills trainer and Eli is now calmer when a situation makes him angry.

Eli transitioned from the Pre-Vocational program into the Supported Community Employment program. Eli worked at Sears where he enjoyed meeting new people and having the opportunity to work in the community.

Eli was involved in Integrated Day Services during his time with the Goodwill training programs also.  Eli said, “When I first started Integrated Day Services I thought it was a waste of time and I quit Integrated Day Services but when I got a job at Sears I returned to Integrated Day Services. I have made a lot of friends in Integrated Day Services.”

Eli thanks Goodwill for learning how to be humble and how to have a positive attitude because of the training programs he progressed through. Eli is currently on the search for a job and he is interested in welding because it is his dream job.