Goodwill Fort Worth Team Member Named GII Achiever of the Year
ROCKVILLE, Md., Nov. 11, 2020 —
Eight years ago, Gina Casteal found herself homeless. With the encouragement and help of her loved ones, she entered and successfully completed the North Texas Institute for Career Development’s CDL (commercial driver’s license) training program, an offering of Goodwill Industries of Fort Worth (TX). Since then, Casteal has thrived as a Goodwill® team member and given her children a chance at a better life. To honor her exemplary hard work and resilience, Goodwill Industries Internatioal has named Casteal its 2020 Achiever of the Year.
For many years, Casteal struggled to find a job because she was a single mother of four with a criminal record. After the bank foreclosed on her house, she and her children were forced to bounce around, living with family, friends and even out of their car for a period of time.
In 2013, Casteal’s stepfather persuaded her to give the CDL training program a chance. She agreed, and her children would often help her study the material. She says it is their unconditional love and support that pushed her to successfully complete the program despite being the only woman in her class and having no prior driving experience.
“Before Goodwill, I was at a hopeless state,” she said. “I felt like I was letting [my children] down. But Goodwill helped me through school, get a job and provide a home for my kids. I can look my kids in the eye again, and they are so proud of me.”
Casteal is currently an employee at Goodwill Fort Worth, where she transports donated goods to and from donation centers, the Goodwill warehouse and area Goodwill stores.
After years of continued employment, she finds herself more confident than ever before. She and her family applied for an interest free mortgage home through Trinity Habitat for Humanity, and, in 2018, their home was built in downtown Fort Worth. Additionally, when her son Romane applied to college, Casteal asked for help from the GoodLife program — a program at Goodwill Fort Worth meant to improve employees’ well-being. She was given several resources that helped her son earn a full scholarship to Texas Christian University (TCU).
Casteal’s strong work ethic and drive has helped her become a role model for those who are struggling financially. She is dedicated to helping others take advantage of the opportunities available to them and realize their true potential.
“Gina Casteal has overcome many obstacles and challenges that for some would be insurmountable and for that, we are honored to recognize her as the Achiever of the Year,” says Steven C. Preston, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. “She has found courage and hard work to be the catalyst for change in her life. Gina truly personifies the Goodwill mission.”
About the Award: Goodwill Industries International’s Achiever of the Year is a person who has shown great progress and accomplishment in overcoming challenges to finding employment, and who still benefits from the Goodwill work environment or receives services to support employment at a community site.
ABOUT GOODWILL INDUSTRIES INTERNATIONAL
Goodwill Industries International is a network of 156 community-based, autonomous organizations in the United States and Canada with a presence in 12 other countries. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit that helps people find employment, Goodwill is recognized with GuideStar’s highest rating, the Platinum Seal of Approval.
Local Goodwill organizations offer employment opportunities, job placement and training services, and other community-based programs, funded by selling donated clothing and household items in more than 3,300 stores and at shopgoodwill.com®. Last year, more than 24 million people used computers and mobile devices to access Goodwill services, and nearly 1.5 million people received in-person services.
About Goodwill Industries of Fort Worth, Inc.
Goodwill is more than a thrift store. The largest employer of people with disabilities in the world, Goodwill believes that work has the power to transform lives by building self-confidence, independence, creativity, trust and friendships. Everyone deserves this chance.
Goodwill Fort Worth’s 25 retail locations provide revenue through the sale of donated goods to support Goodwill’s mission – job training and career services for people with disabilities, such as physical or mental disabilities and other barriers to employment including lack of education or work experience and to vulnerable populations including the homeless, at-risk youth, veterans and the formerly incarcerated. For more information on Goodwill Industries of Fort Worth, please visit www.goodwillfortworth.org.