04 Sep Meet Tabitha
Tabitha was born with a hearing impairment, but she has never let it hold her back. After completing a degree in computer systems, however, she couldn’t get a job in her field.
“I applied at several IT companies, but they didn’t hire me because of my hearing,” she said. “I was like, ‘what’s my hearing got to do with it?'”
After three years in food service, Tabitha was ready for something more. “I needed to be challenged,” she explained.
That’s when her mom suggested she work for Goodwill.
Tabitha went through Goodwill’s transitional employment program, a service for people with disabilities that provides up to six months of paid work training at Goodwill or a partner. She spent that time working at the Mt. View store in Antioch, and afterward the store manager hired her to work as a sales associate. Tabitha was still far from her dream of working in IT.
In March 2012, that changed. Goodwill’s Senior Director of Information Systems interviewed Tabitha and offered her a job in Goodwill’s IT department.
2012 has definitely been a great year for Tabitha. She spoke to a group of middle and high school students at this year’s Career Day for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and offered them the advice she lives by. “I told them you can be whatever you want—a doctor, lawyer, whatever. You can do it.”
After six months on the job, she couldn’t be happier. “I love my job, my team and the rest of my co-workers,” says Tabitha. “I see myself working here for a long time. I’m grateful and thankful for what Goodwill has done for me. Without Goodwill I wouldn’t be where I am today.”
Watch Tabitha’s story: