Kayla Rhyne

goodwill employee sorting donations

A single mother of a little girl, Kayla Rhyne had to leave her job in the caregiving industry due to health issues. Unemployed and unable to keep stable housing, her case worker from Social Services referred her to the Extended Subsidized Employment (ESE) program in February 2015. Kayla was hesitant to start working at Goodwill – she was struggling with health issues, the loss of her mother, as well as other family issues. These major issues in her life were a huge barrier to her committing to a 30 hour a week job but she enrolled in training anyway.

goodwill employee

Kayla wasn’t interested in retail, so she was placed at the main plant in San Luis Obispo as a processor for the warehouse. Salome, the skills trainer at the warehouse, became her mentor. She shared all her knowledge about the job with Kayla, motivating her to succeed. She offered Kayla support and encouragement, not just for the job but also for her personal life. “Salome played a role in helping me overcome my family problems,” says Kayla. “She motivated me to be the best version of me.”

Overall Kayla’s experience working for Goodwill has been life changing. “I was in a really dark place when I first started here,” she says, “but working for Goodwill has helped me build my confidence and showed me that as long as I work hard, I can do anything I set my mind to.”

Kayla thrives in the fast paced environment of the warehouse. She’s learned that she can take initiative and be a leader. This job has given her the boost in confidence and self-esteem that she was lacking. “I’ve learned to push myself and to always learn new things and never stop growing,” says Kayla. “My goals seem much more plausible now.”

The most important lesson Kayla has learned is to never give up on life. She would advise other people that are in the program to “never give up and work hard because hard work pays off. It’s a slow process but eventually you’ll succeed.”

Kayla plants to explore other positions within Goodwill. She hopes to move up within the company and eventually settle down and have a place of her own.

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