Many Americans are familiar with Goodwill because they’ve donated items or shopped at one of its many stores nationwide. But Goodwill is more than just a retail establishment: it is an organization dedicated to helping people enhance their educational possibilities, preparing them to find gainful employment and aiding them in locating safe and affordable places to live.
Goodwill’s dedication to changing people’s lives is evident in the case of Danny Chew. At the age of 39, Danny took advantage of a program offered by Goodwill Industries of Acadiana, which serves Southern Louisiana. He decided to earn his high school equivalency credential, all the while recovering from a kidney transplant.
“It’s something I’ve wanted to do,” says Danny, who dropped out of high school in 1998 in Alexandria, Louisiana. “Goodwill actually paid for it [HiSET], and that was a blessing.”
Goodwill Industries of Acadiana provides adult education training sites that offer free HiSET preparation classes to local residents interested in earning their high school equivalency credential. The informal classes are well-organized and taught by experienced teachers. They are designed to accommodate each student’s specific needs, at each student’s pace. Participants may attend for as long as they feel is necessary to reach their goals.
Danny was especially concerned about his math skills.
“I wasn’t really good at math. I didn’t have confidence,” he says. “But the way she [his instructor] was teaching, it was easy.”
“I did all the pre-tests for the GED, the teacher graded them and, if I had any questions, she answered them one-on-one. She just made it simple,” he adds.
In addition to math, the program helped Danny hone his skills in writing, language and science.
Danny got into the program in January of this year, just a month after receiving a kidney transplant. In between attending classes, usually three days a week, from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., he was required to make regular trips to New Orleans for medical checkups.
Education Leads to a Job
Danny’s hard work and dedication paid off, helping him land a job at a Walmart distribution center in Opelousas, Louisiana.
“Before I completed the HiSET program, I filled out a lot of job applications, but, when they asked if I had a high school diploma, I had to say no. I didn’t get any calls back. But as soon as I got my GED, a couple of jobs opened up for me,” he explains. “I could not have gotten that job without my GED.”
Danny, who went through years of dialysis before receiving his transplant, now has dreams of someday being a dialysis tech so he can help others who suffered with the same medical issues that plagued him. Receiving his high school diploma was the first step in reaching that goal.
“Getting my diploma was the greatest thing,” he says.
Are you interested in earning your HiSet Certificate? Would a work readiness program help you find a good job? Are you looking for a safe, affordable place to live? To learn more about how Goodwill Industries of Acadiana can change your life, visit LaGoodwill.com or call 337- 769-7650.