05 Nov Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee Impacting Local Lives!
Jose had big plans. He wanted to be a doctor, and he was hoping to get a soccer scholarship to Vanderbilt University. But on June 4, 2007, his life was forever changed. Jose was jogging in Mount Pleasant when a driver of an SUV pulled over and demanded money. “When I told him I didn’t have any, he pulled out a gun and started shooting,” he said.
The gunman fired three times and missed. Then the gun jammed, and Jose took off running. The fourth shot hit his spinal cord and left him paralyzed from the waist down. “I was two weeks away from graduating with my medical assistant degree,” he said. “I had something good going, but unfortunately that didn’t happen, and it was a huge change for me.”
Jose wasn’t ready to give up, but he wasn’t prepared for the obstacles he would face while looking for a job. “During job interviews, they would ask me if I could stand or lift 50 pounds,” he said. “I threw in the towel at that point. I was very depressed.”
In 2011, Jose’s mom and sister drove him to the Goodwill Career Solutions center in Spring Hill. “My sister said, ‘They help people like you.’ That visit changed my life.”
Jose was offered a full-time job at the Spring Hill Career Solutions center. As the administrative assistant, he gets to help people who are struggling to find a job, just like he was three years ago. “When I was in their shoes, Goodwill gave me strength to continue with life,” he said. “It’s nice to be able to pay it forward.”