March is Women’s History Month! On the last day of March, we wanted to take a minute to recognize just a few of the standout women making a difference in our Goodwill organization.
Meet the women making a difference at Goodwill:
Molly is the Executive Director at COMPASS. COMPASS is a rape crisis center that serves Tuscarawas, Stark and Carroll counties.
Natasha is a Store Manager at our newest location, University Heights. The store opens this Friday, April 2 and Natasha has been hard at work to bring this new Goodwill to a very excited community in the University Heights area.
Cynthia is a Supervisor of Mission Services. She works with the Employment Specialists to help people with barriers to employment get jobs!
We asked each person a few questions:
How is your work important to you?
Molly: I have been working with domestic violence and sexual assault for the past 22 years. I am often asked if this work makes me depressed. There are days that I feel defeated. There are days that I am angry about the injustices that I see. However, for the majority of my days, I am inspired. Survivors are not weak, they are in fact some of the strongest people I have ever met. To be given the opportunity to stand alongside of them during their healing journeys is a gift.
Natasha: My career has always been important to me. I have always loved the challenge of retail. There are no two days that are truly the same. I also love sharing this environment with other people that enjoy that same energy.
Cynthia: My work with Goodwill is important to me because one- I can support myself and my family. Two, I love the impact Goodwill has on our communities.
What woman inspires you and why?
Cynthia: I’m inspired by so many women, Kamala Harris for breaking glass ceilings, Brene Brown for teaching self-awareness and vulnerability, Amanda Gorman for her eloquent words, Ani DiFranco for expressing herself through music that feeds me. Fighters for justice, equality, conservation such as Malala Yousafzai, Emma Gonzalez, Ellen DeGeneres, Greta Thunburg.
Natasha: Michelle Obama. I remember when she became the first lady and just being amazed at this individual and what she was doing. She has such a unique ability to influence the world around her.
Molly: I can honestly say I can’t think of ONE woman. There are so many women in my personal life, in my professional life and throughout our history that have done so much and inspired me in different ways. This long list of women all inspires me in different ways….to be a better mom, to be a better advocate, to be a better Christian, to be a better leader for future generations.
What words of wisdom did the women in your life share with you?
Natasha: Always listen, learn, and think for yourself!
Molly: I always joke with my mom that her sister (my wonderful Aunt) is so full of wisdom. Her best line is “Let’s just see what tomorrow brings”. I quote this often because it reminds me to stay in the present.
Cynthia: My family has taught me humor is a gift the world needs, use your wit to amuse not abuse.
Are there any assumptions about women that you would like to change? Why?
Cynthia: I would like for all the assumptions about women to change. Don’t assume- instead ask, learn, share, reflect and grow.
Natasha: I believe you need to be who you are and not worry about what the world thinks of you because of your gender, background, identity, or beliefs.
What do you believe will be the biggest challenge for the generation of women behind you?
Cynthia: Every generation needs to keep the momentum for change, betterment, and development. The more we as women support each other, the more we are heard, believed, and supported- the more the world changes for the good. Just keep doing the next right thing!
Natasha: The biggest challenge will be just to continue to push forward. There has been so much change in the world for better that making sure as a society we strive to be better, more open, more inclusive of all people and not to rest on our laurels and simply say this is enough.
What advice would you give to a woman just beginning a career in a similar field as yourself?
Natasha: Every step along the way, every success, and every failure take something with you. Maybe that thing you take is who you want to be, but sometimes what you take with you is who you don’t want to be. Both are valuable learning resources to help you grow.
Cynthia: I would advise women beginning their careers in Education, Vocational Rehab, and nonprofit work in general, stay open, it is impossible to know where the experience will take you. Take opportunities when they come, take risks, fail, learn, soar. Keep. Moving. Forward.
And “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” ~Mary Oliver
Molly: Be ready to listen and learn. You will learn so much from each survivor as you listen to their stories. Be ready to advocate every day…for your clients, for cultural changes and for program funding.