Discover Goodwill of Southern & Western Colorado and Goodwill Industries of Denver are dedicated to helping people reach their highest level of personal and economic independence.
Goodwill Industries of Denver was founded in 1918. Goodwill is widely known for its retail stores, but Goodwill also provides training and employment opportunities for thousands of Coloradans in need each year. For nearly 100 years, Goodwill has provided training and employment opportunities to at-risk youth, unemployed/underemployed families and adults with developmental disabilities in the Denver metropolitan area. Goodwill is a unique nonprofit organization, employing over 1,000 individuals and practicing a triple bottom line: people, planet, and prosperity.
On May 31, Goodwill of Denver merged with and into Discover Goodwill of Southern and Western Colorado. Discover Goodwill of Southern and Western Colorado began as a branch of the Denver Goodwill and was fully incorporated as a stand-alone agency in 1961. The mission of Discover Goodwill of Southern and Western Colorado is to help people reach their highest level of personal and economic independence. The benefit of the combined resources and expertise created through the merger is anticipated to allow Goodwill to better serve those in need throughout Colorado.
Discover Goodwill of Southern and Western Colorado now offer programs through a North Campus, which is located in the Denver metro area, and a South Campus, which is located in Colorado Springs. Although each campus offers different programs, all are focused on workforce development and promoting economic independence and self-sufficiency for vulnerable communities. Goodwill's workforce development programs differ from other similar organizations due to the scope of services provided to participants and that the workforce development programming targets both youth and adults. The primary organizational goal of Goodwill is to provide tangible skills to at-risk youth and low-income and disabled adults to support them in securing employment, obtaining independence and developing dignity and hope. Goodwill's vision is for every person in our community to live to his or her true potential. Goodwill utilizes education, employment and empowerment to foster economic independence and self-sufficiency for individuals facing barriers to employment.
The most effective way to demonstrate the impact of Goodwill's youth programs is by sharing personal stories of the students served in the program.
Tatyana was a student at Hinkley High School who was from a working poor family. She and her mother and younger siblings had cycled in and out of homelessness during her single mother's periods of unemployment. Tatyana had been taught that she was unlikely to graduate high school due to her background. She struggled with feeling socially isolated since her family often moved, which led to her depression. Tatyana decided to join Goodwill's girls group, and met a mentor who inspired her. Her mentor firmly believed in Tatyana, which made her rethink her belief that she would never amount to anything. Tatyana enrolled in college at Metro State University and her mentor linked her to the Summer Bridge program after her graduation. In Summer Bridge, Tatyana met a new Goodwill mentor who taught her practical tips about living on campus and resources for students at Metro. Her mentors have helped her secure professional opportunities as ways to explore future careers. Tatyana volunteered through AmeriCorps and organized youth activities at Rocky Mountain Conservancy. She learned that she had a strong desire to help youth who faced the same hardships she had. She is now pursuing a Psychology degree to fulfill this goal. While Tatyana was a student at Metro, she also decided to enroll in BankWork$ to stabilize her finances. After her cohort's graduation last year, she was offered a job as a Bank Teller at U.S. Bank. The classes and Bank Teller job have taught her a wide variety of soft skills on how to be a good employee. Tatyana credits the Goodwill programs as giving her encouragement and tangible tools to help her succeed. BankWork$ led to an industry-recognized credential which will ensure she will always earn a livable wage, and Summer Bridge taught her how to succeed as a first-generation college student. Tatyana sees her future as "bright" since she has the security to pursue her long-term dreams.