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 it. It all changed for me July 3, 1985, when I fell off a cliff. I was found the next morning in a coma. I spent the next few months re-learning how to walk and talk. I thought I had lost every opportunity to have a normal career.
I applied for disability and was denied for eight years. I had no choice but to work labor intensive jobs. For years I have tried and struggled to do these jobs, as this is the only type of work I could find, considering my speech impairment. When I had nowhere to turn, I looked for an alternative not knowing that I would find one.
I went to the career center looking for other options. I never thought that I would have an opportunity to work with the public because of my speech impairment. Goodwill has opened the door to work with my disability. The customers treat me very well and people at Goodwill gave me the courage and self esteem that I needed to complete my goals.
With the support of my co-workers giving me the extra time needed I have become independent in working the cash register. I have brought to this role a fun loving character that customers positively respond to. I have built a large customer following.
Goodwill has given me a golden opportunity to do what I desire to do and I thank everyone for their dedication, patronage and support. If it was not for Goodwill programs, I do not know where I would be today. The programs have clothed me, fixed my car and got me a job.
I admire all the hard work of the job coaches, the employment specialists and most of all, my boss, for not limiting the possibilities that I can achieve.