Luis’ life was the picture of a kid growing up in a low-income neighborhood, where the gang was your family and your security. As a young man, Luis wanted to work to take care of his family. But one night, Luis was jumped and beaten with a crow bar. His life was forever changed.
The injuries from the attack left Luis with some brain damage, and unable to walk. While Luis lie in a hospital bed, listening to doctors tell him he might never walk again, he decided that this was not going to be his life. He checked out of the hospital, and began his own therapy.
Today, Luis walks with a slight limp, and sometimes, it takes him a little longer to pick up on new things. Both of these elements, combined with Luis’ past, made it challenging for him to get a job.
In August 2013, Luis came to Goodwill seeking help to secure and maintain employment. “I don’t care where I work,” Luis told his Case Manager Bonnie. “I just want to bring some income in for my family.” Luis tended to put himself down in interviews, rather than highlighting his abilities. So, after some mock interviews and help with his resume, Luis landed a job working in the kitchen at Red Lion three weeks later.
More than a year later, the Head Chef at Red Lion calls Luis a “star employee.” Bonnie is proud of Luis and all he has accomplished in the 14 months. “He has grown in his self-esteem and pride. He feels good about the work he is doing and what he is accomplishing. Luis is a success on his own.”
In March 2014, Luis was awarded the Independence Award by Goodwill Industries of the Inland Northwest, in recognition of how far he has come in his independence since starting services at Goodwill.