How Goodwill Helped Samuel Transition From Military to Civilian Life

My Story: Samuel Morales, San Antonio, TX
Nov 9, 2017 5:40 PM ET

After successfully serving in the U.S. Army for 21 years, I retired and was ready for a second career. I had experience in Medical Supply Logistics; however, I found myself leaving the military without a degree or certification, and wondering if I would be able to find a job. My military experience unfortunately did not translate as well as I had hoped, leaving me frustrated and fearful of how I would take care of my family as we transitioned into the civilian world.

It was then that I found out about Goodwill San Antonio’s (TX) Good Careers Academy (GCA). The Pharmacy Technician program was exactly what I needed to complement the logistics experience I had gained while serving in the Army. Once I spoke with the knowledgeable staff at GCA, I knew this was a positive way to position myself for employment on a military installation and give back to my brothers and sisters in arms. More importantly, I knew if I saw my way through and obtained a certification, I would be able to provide stability and security for my family.

I enrolled at GCA, and am now getting the training I need to transition into a promising new career as a Pharmacy Technician, a high-demand, high-growth occupation in our area. Good Careers Academy is providing me with the education, tools and resources to be successful. Today, I no longer worry about how I will take care of my family. I am on the path to a new career and an even brighter future.


For 115 years, Goodwill® has been a social enterprise focused on promoting the common good through empowering individuals and championing the belief that everyone should have the chance to succeed through the power of work.

Goodwill sells donated items and material goods in its more than 3,200 stores and online at® to create employment placement services, job training, and integrated programs uniquely customized to meet the needs of job seekers in local communities so that they can earn paychecks and build their skills. Goodwill’s donated goods retail social enterprise model accounts for nearly three quarters of its revenue, with the rest primarily funded by contracts, business development, and program services.

Goodwill’s network includes 162 community-based, autonomous 501(c)(3) organizations in the United States and Canada with presence in 13 other countries. Local Goodwill organizations innovate to meet community needs and create better futures for people who desire self-sufficiency. In 2016, local Goodwill organizations collectively placed 313,000 people in employment across the United States and Canada. That means one out of every 200 job hires in the United States was made with the help of Goodwill. Our autonomous structure allows us to adapt to the unique needs of our communities and helps people to be stable both at home and in the workplace.

Goodwill organizations recognize that many complex challenges can stand in the way of finding and securing ongoing, meaningful employment. Through extensive work with our network of independent, community-based Goodwill organizations, we've developed a four-domain framework for Goodwill’s impact in the lives of the individuals and families we serve: work and skills progression, health and well-being, financial wellness, and work and life supports. These areas of influence help us understand the true impact of our work in communities.

To learn more about Goodwill’s collective impact, visit

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