#MissionMonday - Marria

Every Monday, we'll be posting a new story of how our mission has assisted people in the community. Be sure to check back each week for a new and inspirational story of someone who was helped by Goodwill Manasota. Changing lives through the power of work...it's what we do.


#MissionMonday - MariaMarria came to the US from Cuba in order to have a better life for herself and for her family. Her husband quickly found a job as a handyman. Then, Marria felt that luck was on her side when she got a job at Goodwill.

Her son, who was attending middle school, came home very depressed every day, but would not say why. She soon found out that he was been bullied by another student. Her GoodPartner Coach (GPC), a free life coach offered to all Goodwill Manasota employees, suggested that she make an appointment with the school counselor to discuss the situation. Her GPC also gave Marria an application for a scholarship at the YMCA so her son could attend after school in order to make more friends.

The meeting with the Counselor went well; her son was no longer being bullied and was able to attend the YMCA and play sports. Now, Maria felt good enough about her son’s situation to begin focusing on her own goals. She wanted to become a US citizen. She regularly attended the free ESOL classes at Goodwill, she watched TV in English and met with a private tutor to help her pass the citizenship test. All was going well until her husband got sick and had to have heart surgery. All of a sudden, times were hard for their family. Maria’s GoodPartner Coach gave her a referral to a food bank where she could go and get food as needed. She also needed to request time off to care for her husband, which her manager gladly granted.

Once her husband made a full recovery, she took her citizenship test and passed the first time. She received the Milestone Award from Goodwill and is very proud to show it to everyone she meets. She has been encouraging other Goodwill Team Members to do as she did and study hard to achieve their own goals.

Maria encountered many challenges when she came to the US, but she had big goals then and she STILL has big goals for the future. She is very thankful that she works at Goodwill, where she can get the support she needs! It’s what we do…