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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Goodwill Achiever


Shayleen Miranda of New Haven will receive a Goodwill Achiever of the Year award at the Annual Goodwill Awards Luncheon April 20.
The Goodwill Achiever Award honors individuals with disabilities or other special needs who, while not yet having attained a competitive job in the community, have shown great progress and accomplishment in overcoming barriers to employment while working toward their career goals.
Miranda, shown in photo, has been diagnosed with a brain injury. Prior to joining Goodwill, she did not engage in many meaningful community activities during the day, spending most of her time watching television at home with her 5-year-old daughter. She needed assistance with basic living skills, meal preparation and personal care. Miranda’s first language is Spanish and due to her brain injury, her ability to speak English has been diminished.
She is now participating in Goodwill’s ABI/Residential program.
A staff member travels to her home five days a week to provide independent living skills training, companion and pre-vocational services. Miranda has been working on home maintenance, appropriate dress, hygiene and cooking skills.
She has also made great strides in the community, obtaining a volunteer role at a community food pantry in New Haven. She currently goes there four days a week, for up to five hours at a time, packing bags, stuffing envelopes and performing light cleaning duties. In order to improve her employability, Miranda is enrolled in adult education classes and is re-learning English.
In a very short time, Miranda has made significant improvements. She is an active participant in her daughter’s life, volunteers her time to the local community and is working to better herself through education.
The supervisor at the food pantry where she volunteers said, “Shayleen is a fast learner and a hard worker. She is dedicated and enjoys preparing food bags to give to the community. She enjoys delivering these items as it makes her feel proud to give back. Shayleen takes her work seriously and she always tries very hard. She is a pleasure to have around.”
Goodwill Industries of Western Connecticut is a non-profit organization that provides employment and support services to people with disabilities and other barriers to employment.
Through programs that offer people the opportunity to develop the life-changing skills they need to obtain and keep a job, Goodwill helps the individuals it serves gain hope, dignity and financial independence.

Editor's note: The information in this blog was wholly supplied by Goodwill Industries of Western Connecticut

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