2014 Participant of the Year Danielle

Danielle wanted to show her kids that things were going to be okay.

But facing the end of her 13-year marriage – and with two young children to worry about – she suddenly faced a personal and financial crisis. With no recent work history, she found herself overlooked for even part-time employment.

“I couldn’t find a job anywhere. I was feeling beaten down, forgotten and on the edge of being hopeless,” she admits. “It was so hard to start over, and I was ashamed of the situation I was in.”

Luckily, an email from Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota caught her eye one day. It was about a woman who’d been homeless, received training from Goodwill-Easter Seals and rebuilt her life as a result.

Danielle decided to register for an information session to learn more.

She enrolled in the eight-week Medical Office Training course, which includes instruction on using medical software, understanding insurance, scheduling appointments, and registering patients. Danielle graduated the program with perfect attendance.

She continued to face financial challenges, but remained optimistic. She enrolled in the Goodwill-Easter Seals Beyond Jobs program, which helps women find jobs, advance their careers and gain financial stability. She also received career coaching, job leads and help with applications, cover letters, resume writing and interview preparation.

Danielle received monetary incentives for setting and achieving tangible goals, such as getting a job, retaining a job for 30/90/180 days and saving enough money for a security deposit on a new apartment.

“I started making goals. I went for every job lead that was given to me. My main goal was to become self-sufficient.”

Danielle worked front desk jobs until June 2014, when she was offered a role as Team Unit Coordinator at Fairview Clinic in Highland Park. She loves the team of nurses she assists and continues to set goals – both for herself and to benefit others.

“I am excited and happy about my future; the hope that was almost lost has been restored and I look forward to where my career will go from here.”

She’s got big plans. “Ideally, I want to find a way to unite Fairview and Goodwill-Easter Seals Medical Office Training to create an internship program. This would also offer Fairview the opportunity to find eager, well-trained potential employees who will benefit like I have from having someone give them a chance.”

Her amazing journey led to her being named one of Goodwill-Easter Seals 2014 Participants of the Year.

She’s thankful for being recognized, but also appreciative of the support she got.

“Goodwill-Easter Seals took me from being someone in need of help, to being in a position where I can help others.”


Learn more about our training programs here.