Celebrating 90 Years | Store Manager Israel Juarez Knows the Power of Education

by Betsy McFeely, Seattle Goodwill
March 29, 2013

IsraelIsrael Juarez’s introduction to Goodwill began in Indiana. When he moved to the United States from Mexico City, he spoke no English. He was referred to Goodwill by a friend so he could learn the language.

He took several English classes while working the graveyard shift at his job. After getting off work at 7 a.m., he headed to Goodwill for four hours of instruction. “I was engaged to learn,” he said, “because I didn’t want to be made fun of. I wanted to make a difference.”

Israel was offered a training position by his employer, which he accepted, followed by a promotion to Retail Lead and later to Supervisor. Israel was then hired by Goodwill to be Assistant Manager of their first outlet store in Indiana. “It was my way to pay back Goodwill for investing in me and helping me learn the language.”

In 2006, Israel moved to Washington State and continued his retail career with Seattle Goodwill. He has been promoted several times and now manages the Ballard Goodwill store, after managing the Tukwila and Burien stores. Israel’s experience has shown him that training helps people get the skills they need to get that first job, and then a better job and a higher salary.

It’s not uncommon to see Israel using Rosetta Stone himself on an employee computer in the break room. “I still have more to learn,” Israel says. “Plus, I want my kids to be proud of me!”

Check out our 90th anniversary timeline to read more Goodwill stories and share your own!


Betsy McFeelyBetsy McFeely is the Communications Director for Seattle Goodwill.

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