Goodwill Ambassador Summer 2017
Meet Tarra Simmons...
Tarra Simmons’ experience behind bars inspired her current career goal: becoming a lawyer.
“I’m advocating for second chances. We need lawyers to help people re-enter society. Companies are overlooking qualified people just because they have a criminal record,” Tarra said.
Tarra spent 20 months at the Mission Creek Correction Center for Women for drug offenses. While at Mission Creek, she attended workshops led by Seattle Goodwill. The women learned resume writing and other job preparation skills.
“We learned how to explain our situation, how to use our experience there as an asset,” Tarra said. “The practical assistance and nonjudgmental support I got from Goodwill helped me build my self-worth.”
She stays in touch with Amy Olsen, the Goodwill staff member who led those workshops at the correction center.
“Amy was a great support when I felt scared. How would I move forward? How would I support my kids? Amy’s mentorship set a trajectory for me. I stayed hopeful.”
Tarra worked in fast food and office administration jobs after her release. But she also went through an eviction and divorce. The lawyers who helped her through those tough times inspired her to apply to law school. In May of this year, Tarra earned her law degree from Seattle University School of Law.
"The practical assistance and nonjudgmental support I got from Goodwill helped me build my self-worth" -Tarra Simmons
Over the past few years, Tarra been an intern with the Public Defender Association, Northwest Justice Project, the American Civil Liberties Union and Disability Rights Washington. At every organization, she helped people like her—those formerly incarcerated and their families who needed help working through the legal system and restoring their self-worth.
Tarra is often in Olympia, too, working to change policy that will help people more easily find jobs if they have a criminal background. Gov. Jay Inslee has appointed Tarra to two boards. One week this summer she had meetings with U.S. Sen. Patty Murray and U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer.
All this experience earned Tarra a prized position, perfectly suited to her skills and interests. In September she begins a two-year Skadden Foundation Fellowship, practicing public-interest law at the Public Defender Association in Seattle. She’ll represent people with criminal histories, helping them overcome barriers to employment and housing.
Receiving the Skadden Fellowship is a big deal. Competition is fierce; just 30 fellowships were awarded nationally for 2017. Tarra is the first Seattle University law student to be selected.
“It’s a great opportunity to make a difference,” Tarra said. “I’ve lived through the same experiences and now I can help others walk through the process.
“I feel like I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing—making a difference.”
A Letter From Our CEO, Daryl J. Campbell
Tarra Simmons is making a name for herself as an advocate for second chances. A recent graduate of the Seattle University School of Law, Tarra helps people with a criminal past find work, housing and self-confidence.
She fully understands their challenges. Just a few years ago Tarra was in a women’s correction center for drug offenses and wanted to be ready to provide for her kids when she was released. She attended Goodwill workshops at the correction center, learning job search skills and ways to use her experience as an asset.
Now Tarra’s preparing to use her law degree at the Public Defender Association, with support from the prestigious Skadden Fellowship. As a Seattle U law grad myself, I could not be more proud knowing that Tarra is the first person from our law school to receive that fellowship. You can read more about Tarra in this issue of Goodwill Ambassador.
At Goodwill we share Tarra’s compassion for people seeking second chances. Job training, computer literacy and English classes are just the start of services we offer people trying to take steps forward. No matter where people are starting from or how many detours they take, Goodwill focuses on helping our students meet their individual needs to get them back on the path to self-sufficiency and meaningful work.
This broad scope of our services has been the key to our effectiveness in workforce development. I appreciate our new board members’ “all in” approach to learning more about Goodwill and their desire to raise the bar on community awareness and philanthropy. Meet our new board members inside this issue.
Lastly, I invite you to mark your calendar for November 4. Our 10th annual Glitter Gala will be an event you won’t want to miss.
Daryl J. Campbell, Preasident and CEO
Board Members Focus on Mission
The newest Goodwill board members enthusiastically support our work at the retail stores and beyond. Read on to hear their goals and efforts on behalf of Goodwill.
Featured Board Member
Naria Santa Lucia
WASHINGTON STATE OPPORTUNITY SCHOLARSHIP
In her time on the board, Naria Santa Lucia has seen how Goodwill makes a difference to many groups of people:
• Students: “All job training services are free. Free! That’s a game changer,” she said.
• Employees: Job satisfaction ratings are strong among Goodwill store employees.
• Shoppers: Goodwill stores have a higher purpose than just trendy thrift shopping. Some people need discounted items to be ready for the first day of school, for example. Others can buy items at Goodwill that they otherwise couldn’t afford.
• Financial partners: People who give to Goodwill empower others.
• Environmental supporters: Thrift stores reduce waste.
Naria’s goal is to make sure donors and patrons understand how much Goodwill offers beyond the stores. Though every day at her office she’s reminded of the treasures found at Goodwill stores.
“Removing barriers for people is my personal mission, and Goodwill is doing exactly that,” Naria said.
Diem Ly / COMCAST
Diem Ly has always acted like a Goodwill ambassador; being a board member is just a title change. “I was a fan of the intention behind Goodwill’s work,” she said. “It refreshes me each time I connect with the staff and leadership, because of their thoughtful, focused attention on impacting people’s lives for the better.”
Linda Marzano / PACIFIC MEDICAL CENTERS
Linda’s organization emphasizes job training and professional development, so her interest in Goodwill was a natural fit. She was surprised to learn about the depth of job training programs beyond retail positions—truck driving, for example. “Job training gives people the opportunity to start a career and support their families,” she said. As a board member, Linda looks forward to working on a strategic plan that will help Goodwill meet its goals.
Tim Myers / BOEING
Tim’s goal as a board member is to raise the bar on philanthropic efforts. People often believe Goodwill’s retail operations are enough to support its programs. “We need financial gifts so we can do so much more,” he said. Goodwill’s mission to give people the job skills they need to support their families is a great benefit to the community. “All around Seattle, we see people in need. Goodwill is combating that need. That alone should get you to donate,” Tim said.
Amelia Ransom / NORDSTROM
Amelia was a Goodwill board member from 2006-2010. Her job took her to Chicago for a few years, and now she’s back in Seattle. She enthusiastically rejoined the board Advisory Committee and is chair of this year’s Glitter Gala. Helping others is a priority for Amelia, and she’s eager to increase awareness and support for Goodwill’s mission. “There’s a million resources in this community for us,” she said. “I tell people it’s our obligation to use our level of privilege to help others.”
Glitter Gala & Fashion Show
Our 10th annual Glitter Gala is November 4. Come help us celebrate Goodwill’s “Universe of Potential.”
A sparkling evening is planned November 4 for the 10th annual Glitter Gala. Seattle Goodwill’s only annual fundraising gala supports job training programs and the “universe of potential” we see in our students every day.
Reserve your spot today, because we anticipate a sellout crowd of more than 650 community and business leaders.
The spectacular evening begins at 6 p.m. at the Hangar 30 at Magnuson Park event space with a cocktail hour that includes a bling toss and select auction items. A pop-up shop is a new feature this year.
The dinner program begins at 7:15 p.m. Activities include the Glitter Gala Fashion Show and the opportunity for guests to financially contribute to our Job Training and Education Programs.
Stay for the after party until 11 p.m. to dance and meet the Design Challenge competitors and models.
All proceeds help people in our community obtain job training and develop a plan for a better life.
The focus on glamour continues the following weekend, November 11-12, with the 34th annual Glitter Sale at the Seattle Goodwill flagship store. Find more details and shopping tips at seattlegoodwill.org/sales-and-events/glitter-sale. To avoid the crowds, you can purchase tickets online to our pre-sale event on November 8.
We look forward to seeing you during glitter week!
November 4 | 6 p.m.
Hangar 30, Magnuson Park
6310 N.E. 74th Street, Seattle
Cost: $175 ($200 after Sept. 15)
November 11–12 | 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Seattle Goodwill Flagship Store
1400 S. Lane Street, Seattle