2013 Participant of the Year: a story of survival

Link to the video for Participant of the Year John for 2013

Tortured for his political beliefs, John fled Zimbabwe, leaving behind his wife, four children, a house and a successful banking job. After graduating our Banking and Finance course, he landed a job with Wells Fargo. “The ending is unknown and always a surprise,” is his favorite quote. “They got me at a bus stop and dragged me into the toilet,” John said of his captors. “They hit me with a very big iron [pipe] on my head and I was left for dead.”

Though painful, John knew he had to flee to country to save his life. Coming to a new country with no job, no money, no accommodations and no family was extremely difficult. He heard about the Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota Banking and Finance training from a counselor at the Center for Victims of Torture. A successful and seasoned banker in his home country, John was very excited to establish a banking career in America.

“John was the consummate job seeker,” said Roni Thorkelson, his employment support consultant. “He never missed an appointment and was forever pleasant. John never, ever gave up, no matter what he encountered on his journey. He was a joy to work with!”

John has fulfilled his dream of continuing his banking career in America and is working on his new dream: bringing his family here to live with him. “I think that this organization is very helpful,” John said. “If you don’t know what to do, don’t know where to start, don’t have any resources, go to Goodwill. They teach you all those things.”