Our Stories


Phil Jellen

Joining the AmeriCorps Program through Goodwill Industries® of Northern New England has been a step in the right direction for me. The AmeriCorps program gives idealistic people an opportunity to put their visions into practice, and in so doing, gain a more… read

Emily Gribben

To quote Alex Noble, “Risk is essential. There is no growth or inspiration in staying within what is safe and comfortable.” In 2011 I was teaching at a public school in Maryland.  I felt stuck in the position I was… read
Margaret Connolly-Watson

Margaret Connolly-Watson

My name is Margaret Connolly-Watson and I am a volunteer with Goodwill Industries of Northern New England.  I live in Windham, Maine with my husband and two sons.   I became involved with Goodwill when I lost my job in 2010. … read

Heather Correia

My name is Heather Correia, and a few years ago, I was a 19 year old girl in a whirlwind of stress, violence and insecurity. My mother was bankrupt; I completed exactly half of college and dropped out to get… read

Debra Hanmer

I was 38 years old when I went to the hospital to have a giant aneurysm on my brain repaired. The doctor told me the risks, which included a stroke; however, the prognosis of leaving the aneurysm was very grim… read

Kathy Towle

I experienced a violent encounter many years ago – I have no memory of how long I was unconscious. I started experiencing severe migraines and could only work four-hour days. I experienced months of testing and doctor’s appointments. I went… read

Alice Webb

My name is Alice Webb and my career with Goodwill started twenty years ago when I was hired into the “GROW” program in Augusta, Maine. This was a sheltered workshop where I did tasks such as working with tax forms,… read

Steve Cook

After being laid off from a management job in a field I had worked in for 25 out of 40 years of retail sales, marketing and customer service, I was, to say the least, down and wondering where I would… read

Paul Thibeault

I moved to Fern Cottage, a Goodwill residence, on January 8, 2009, from a nursing home in Massachusetts where I hardly ever got to go out anywhere for twenty years. I shared a room with an older man who was… read

Ralph Poland

I suffered two strokes during open heart surgery that left me a living vegetable. It wasn’t clear if I would ever walk again. But I remained determined. At the time of my discharge from the hospital, I could only walk… read

John Arsenault

My name is John Arsenault. I am 42 years old. I have worked for Goodwill for the past four and a half years. When I was 17 years old I had an injury that impacted my life as I knew… read

Kathleen Gauthier

Read a feature on Kathleen in the Union Leader (Manchester, NH) I am a physical therapist by education and practice. In April of 2003 I was in a car accident that caused a brain injury. It left me in a… read

Loretta Falzarano

When a Woman Loves Her Job Loretta’s story originally appeared in the fall newsletter, Sky Lines, distributed by One Sky Community Services, based in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. For Loretta Falzarano, work is nothing short of delightful. “She bolts through the… read

Emily Fitch

My story of volunteerism starts long before my Goodwill AmeriCorps service. My first volunteer experience was in 1990, when I volunteered with my family to box up bags of rice for my local food pantry. It was this experience that… read

Nick Vaughan

I grew up in the Bangor area and moved to Portland five years ago to attend Strive U. I graduated as valedictorian of my class. After graduation, I could not find a job. I became frustrated and thought about moving… read

Samantha Sansom

Through my experience at my host site, I have learned a lot about the importance of mentoring. I’ve learned that mentors can come in all shapes and sizes, and it has helped me realize what people in my life have… read

Stephanie Carr

Before becoming the Great Strides Program Coordinator at Stevens High School in Claremont , New Hampshire, I was a student in college. In May of 2011, I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree. When I started to look for work, I… read

Nancy Dussault

Back in January 2009, I unexpectedly became a dislocated worker.  I had been employed with the company for almost 12 years.  Looking back, it was a particularly devastating experience for me, as my co-workers were like family. They were there… read

Briana Markoff

When I graduated from college in May, 2011, the job market could not have been more competitive. Every listing I found said the same thing: “at least 2 years experience in a relevant field.” It seemed like a paradox –… read

Danielle Brandts

From an early age, my mother instilled in me a strong appreciation for wooden furnishings, original Tupperware containers, and just about anything that reminded us of our favorite decade, the 1970s. Through many a sweltering Minnesota summer, we scavenged the… read

Matt Hickey

In 1995, I hesitantly accepted a Direct Support Professional position offered by Goodwill at Spiller Park Apartments. At that point I had just finished college and had no idea what I wanted to do or be in the career world.… read

Elisabeth Lohmueller

I wanted to become an AmeriCorps volunteer after leaving my first post-college job. Since graduating in 2008, I had been working as a field instructor for a for-profit wilderness therapy program for teens. While that position was demanding and rewarding,… read

Sonia Noble

I wince as the worn Nerf football thuds against the ceiling inches from a florescent light, and I shout a warning to the kid who threw it to move the game somewhere safer. But I can’t find it in my… read

Jennifer Moore

Jennifer Moore is a library assistant at the Portsmouth Public Library and runs the sustainable fashion blog, recover girl. She is an avid thrifter and Goodwill shopper and recently joined Goodwill’s Public Policy committee. Jennifer lives in southern Maine with… read

Robin Gagnon

My name is Robin Gagnon and I live in Vassalboro, Maine. I had been receiving TANF benefits from the State for about four years. After much searching, I was able to find a good job at Compaid Industries in Augusta.… read

Chandra Murphy

Before I started to work for Goodwill, I lived with my mom at home. I saw an ad for a job at Goodwill in the local newspaper. I was able to get an interview and was happy and excited to… read

Donald Roberts

My name is Donald Roberts and I developed my work experience and passionate work ethic while working at a poultry farm in Maine from 1969-1970. I was in my early 20s and tended to the baby chicks and cleaned the… read

Barbara Young

Before Goodwill, I was at home looking after my children all by myself. I started working at Goodwill in 1998 and have been at the Augusta store for the past seven years. I work on sorting and hanging the clothes… read

Manny Archibald

I love Halloween – LOVE it! I always have. As a kid, it was all about candy but as an adult, it is one of the most creative times of the year. For me, I see it as a challenge.… read

Christine Smith

I was hired almost twelve years ago as a Direct Support Professional for Goodwill’s Residential Services. In that time, Goodwill has provided me with much more than just a paycheck – thanks to their family strengthening programs, I have been… read

Kevin Stevens

My name is Kevin. I graduated from Gardiner Area High School. I felt as though I had accomplished a lot and felt good about myself. But I also wanted to get a job and move out of my parent’s house.… read

Isis Truman

I was hired almost twelve years ago as a Sales Associate for the Augusta Goodwill Retail Store. In that time, Goodwill has provided me with much more than just a paycheck – thanks to their family strengthening programs, I have… read

Marie Cotnoir

When I was 22 years old, I was involved in a single motor vehicle accident which resulted in a traumatic brain injury. I’ll never forget the date – December 6, 2002. After lying in a coma for five and a… read

Patricia St. Pierre

In September 2011, I found myself unemployed. After seven and a half years with York County Community Action, my job was eliminated. I felt “Why me?” I was close to retirement, but not quite ready to stop working – and… read

Caitlin Pierce

Figuring out my personal style was a huge part of me coming into my own. I never really felt comfortable in my clothes; it always felt like I was wearing the wrong thing. I remember being over dressed at high… read

Victoria Land

It was a cold and snowy day like many of the others during our move to Maine the winter of 2011. We were driving around Rockland trying to run some errands and learn our way around. As we drove down… read

Travis Doughty

When I graduated in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree and MBA, I expected to find a high-caliber job right out of school.  Boy was I ever wrong!  After a long and unfruitful job search, I came to the realization that… read