(image) Carl Burbage
Carl Burbage is a wonderful example of someone who never allowed obstacles to get in the way of achieving his goals. Despite being diagnosed with developmental disabilities at an early age, Carl set his sights high. Although learning was a struggle, it didn't stop him from learning to read well enough to help him succeed in life.
Determined to live on his own and become self sufficient, Carl entered the Food Service Training Program at the Naval Nuclear Power Training Center Galley operated by Goodwill Industries of Lower South Carolina. During the course of the program, participants learn culinary skills that range from cooking and baking to scullery and dining room cleanliness. Carl mastered floor cleaning applications such as, stripping, waxing and buffing floors and went on to help teach others the same skills he had been taught.
"I could depend on Carl to always be at work," says Goodwill Supervisor Linda Barton. "He did not have a vehicle so many times he would walk, ride his bicycle or find someone to bring him," she adds. During the Christmas holidays, Carl would choose not to take any time off but would always volunteer to come in to help strip and wax the floors. Through excellence of service, Carl and his Goodwill co-workers helped the Navy achieve the 2008 Edward F. Ney Award, the highest award given for a Naval Dining Hall facility.
With the help and guidance of Goodwill Employment Specialist Sheila Williams, Carl graduated from the training program in March 2007 and found employment in the community with Wal-Mart. "Carl never allows his disability to hold him back," Sissy Cooper, Wal-Mart Supervisor says. "Carl is very dedicated to his job and although he sometimes struggles with transportation, due to his vehicle breaking down, he will find a way. Carl is a joy to work around and a very pleasant person," says Cooper. Now Carl keeps the floors shining at Wal-Mart and is just as proud of those floors as he was of his floors at the galley.
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