From Adversity to Advocacy: Irving’s Empowering Experience with Palmetto Goodwill

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Meet Irving, whose journey with Palmetto Goodwill began at a job fair hosted by the South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation Center. It was there that Irving secured employment with Palmetto Goodwill Services, where he has been serving as a Custodian at the Naval Information Warfare Center for six months.

Irving’s life took a significant turn at age 16 when he was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. Unfortunately, the challenges of managing diabetes led to vision loss, a kidney transplant, and an amputation for Irving. Despite these adversities, Irving remains strong-spirited.

Beyond his duties at Palmetto Goodwill, Irving is deeply involved in advocacy work. He is a member of the National Federation of the Blind and co-founded “The Blind Titans,” a support group of Palmetto Goodwill team members dedicated to raising awareness for various disabilities, including blindness, diabetes, kidney failure/dialysis, amputations, mental health, and paraplegia. Recently, Irving had the opportunity to advocate for the AbilityOne program before South Carolina political office staffers.

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Sheila Williams, an Employment Specialist at Palmetto Goodwill, became acquainted with Irving upon his arrival on the team. As his case manager, Sheila witnessed Irving’s remarkable growth and fortitude. Despite the hurdles he’s faced, Irving’s can-do attitude and positivity have remained constant.

Irving’s resilience and dedication make him an invaluable asset to the team. He approaches his tasks with enthusiasm and reliability, earning recognition within his first week on the job with an ACE – an internal rewards program for team members – for his pivotal role in co-founding the “Blind Titans” support group at work.

Irving’s journey serves as a beacon of inspiration, highlighting the transformative power of self-belief and the opportunities provided by organizations like Palmetto Goodwill. As he continues to thrive, Irving remains committed to using his voice for positive change. His story stands as undeniable proof that with determination and support, no obstacle is insurmountable.

 

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