The Story Behind the Store
Fernando enrolled in Goodwill’s Job, Education & Training (JET) program for high school students with disabilities in 2018. He had very significant barriers to employment, including limited verbal skills. During his internship at Burlington in Ocala, his Goodwill community employment specialist worked with him on the basics of being on time and dressing appropriately, slowly adding more skills as time went on.
Fernando eventually worked his way up to maintaining the store’s large shoe department and even helping customers when needed. His infectious smile and work ethic did not go unnoticed! Fernando was offered a job as a shoe associate at Burlington, where he loves working and getting a paycheck.
“He’s doing really well,” says Fernando’s mom Martha. “And now he has a job, a real job. I’m so proud of him!”
For more information on JET: https://goodwill-suncoast.org/jet-program/
To make a financial donation to help others like Fernando, click HERE.