Success Stories – Jason Miller

My story begins with addiction. I dropped out of school and was in and out of prison. I couldn’t keep a job and eventually, I stopped trying to work.

Then my fiancé got pregnant and I knew I had to change. I started looking for work and trying to get clean.

When my fiancé told me about Goodwill, I thought it would be the same story: I’d submit an application and get no call back, but that’s not what happened. Instead, on October 29, 2010, I was hired as a donation apprentice at the El Sobrante Goodwill store.

For ten months I worked as a donation apprentice, but I wanted to be a retail lead. When I told my manager about my goal, she said I wasn’t trying hard enough that I’d just come in and do the bare minimum needed to keep the job and wasn’t showing the initiative needed to be promoted. So I started to really put effort into my job.

When a new store manager started, she saw I was trying and promoted me to retail lead. When Juleen, the current San Pablo store manager, began managing the El Sobrante store, she promoted me assistant manager.

Then I left Goodwill for a job with a union, but it wasn’t what I’d hoped it would be. I wanted to work for a company that I believed in so I called Goodwill and asked, “can I come back?”. Two hours later, I got a call back from Goodwill. This is the second time Goodwill saved me.

I started at a lower position than where I’d left and worked my way back up. From there, my story leads to the amazing community in Oakland’s Durant Square, where I am the manager of our brand new Goodwill store, full of great product.

What do I love about my job? Knowing that we are helping people get back on their feet, just like I was helped. I’m grateful for the opportunity to showcase my own abilities while helping others reach their potential.

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