Alisa Rivera is originally from Buffalo, NY, but she and her family moved to Charlotte, NC, in 2006 for better career opportunities. In Charlotte, she discovered the career services offered by Goodwill and found a job in the financial services industry. Unfortunately, the 2008 financial crisis resulted in her losing her job.

In 2009, Alisa and her family moved to Jonesboro at her sister’s suggestion, hoping to regroup after their struggles. They eventually became homeless, but with their church’s assistance, they settled in Decatur. There, Alisa found the South DeKalb Career Center of Goodwill and secured a part-time job for the 2010 Census.

Despite having a bachelor’s degree from the University of Buffalo and a master’s degree in international business from D’Youville College, she did not anticipate needing job search assistance.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Alisa encountered several new challenges. She was laid off from her job at Waffle House and had to sell her home in Covington. Afterward, her family resided in Stockbridge for eight months before eventually relocating to Decatur.

During the recent period of unemployment, she provided property management and tax preparation services. She also found temporary work on a political campaign but knew this would be a short-term solution. She continued to pursue a new career.

Alisa sought support from Goodwill’s Stockbridge Career Center in December 2020, where Career Coach Temeka Minor and Career Center Manager Quinton Irvin assisted her. When she faced financial setbacks, Cynthia Lopez, another career coach, provided her with income support and training in Excel through the LISC grant. Alisa appreciated Cynthia’s diligent assistance in improving her resume, LinkedIn profile, and completing Excel training in January 2021.

Alisa had been without income for eight months. She decided to attend a job fair at the Stockbridge Career Center, where she interviewed with Walden Security. She was hired as a security officer. Upon joining Walden Security, she immediately discussed her career goals with her supervisor and requested a mentor. In the next six months, Alisa hopes to complete additional Microsoft training with the goal of returning to the financial services industry.

Goodwill is excited about Alisa’s new career path and is eager to support her as she works towards owning her own tax preparation service business. They are grateful to have been able to assist her and her family for the past 15 years.