13 Jun Goodwill Helps Hendersonville Woman Find Her Voice
Khandi Hood was a frequent visitor of the Goodwill Career Solutions Center in Hendersonville before she became a client. Her mother, Amy Jones, is a client of Career Solutions and would often bring Khandi along during her visits to the career center.
“Khandi was non-verbal. She was getting counseling at home but clung to her mom to get through life.” Kelly Proudfoot, Career Solutions Career Coach, recalls how Khandi would use her mother as a crutch in social situations, even when they would visit the career center, “She was really shy about getting out there.”
“She wouldn’t talk to a stranger,” her mother recalls. “If she needed to go to the store, she wouldn’t get on a bus, she would wait for me to take her to the store.” Amy, also a former Goodwill employee, felt like the programs offered by Goodwill would be a great way to help her daughter become engaged and confident, “They teach you these skills so you can go out and get jobs.”
Khandi watched as her mother benefitted from the Goodwill job services, and she decided to start working on improving her own skills. “While her mom was being served and in training, we had Khandi on another computer working on her typing and work skills.” Kelly Proudfoot also worked with Khandi to develop a resume, which was a challenge due to her limited work history.
While she wasn’t responding verbally, Khandi either wrote down her responses or used her phone to write them out, ”We were communicating with her in other ways, whichever way we can to help her,” Kelly recalls.
“I wanted to do janitorial work because I’m really good at cleaning,” Khandi says. Her hard work paid off, and she landed a job for a short period of time before finding her current job.
“Ms. Kelly looked up some jobs for me on the computer,” Khandi remembers about her job search efforts, “and I told her about my interest in New Horizon.” During Khandis’ job transition, Kelly received a peculiar phone call from Khandi’s mother.
“Amy said, ‘I’m going to hand the phone over to Khandi.’ I immediately thought, ‘What for, she can’t speak?” Once Amy handed the phone over, Kelly remembers hearing Khandi’s voice exclaim, “Hey Miss Kelly!”
The next time Khandi visited the career center, Kelly saw a new confidence and a smile beaming from her. “When she started talking, it was around her 6-month mark as a client. “When she first came in, she would hide behind her mom.” Kelly credits the progress with the constant encouragement and communication they offered Khandi.
“She wanted to do things on her own, but she was afraid to,” Amy says about her daughter,
“Now she does more things for herself and is more independent about being at home, she’s not as scared to be by herself.”
Khandi feels good about her job and her personal life, taking pride in being able to help her mother pay rent and bills. She offers advice for anyone needing help finding work, “I would like for everyone to go to Goodwill Career Solutions if they want a job — they will help you.”
Since Khandi has gone through Goodwill training, she’s grown and learned a lot. She’s more outspoken, more outgoing — just coming out of her shell more. She’s happy and she has a smile on her face.