Darnell Champion dreamed of becoming a basketball player as a young boy in Greensboro, Georgia. However, after moving to Atlanta, he found himself living on the streets and surrounded by drugs.

While in Atlanta, Darnell became a drug dealer and a gambler, even becoming addicted to the same drugs he was selling, stating, “I was my best customer.”

After feeling exhausted, Darnell decided to join a halfway house and started working part-time at Oxford Janitorial Services.

Darnell fought hard to overcome his drug addiction but still struggled. As a result, Darnell transferred back to another halfway house in Athens. Darnell also hoped to settle down and get married during this time, but life had other plans as he was steered back towards the streets.

Determined to make a change, Darnell moved back to Atlanta and enrolled in a different halfway house while working a part-time job with his grandmother. During this time, Darnell spoke with a counselor who recommended the Goodwill facility services program and their partnership with the IRS.

Darnell expressed his interest in becoming a supervisor. While this took time to happen, within three months, he was promoted to shift lead.

Darnell remained sober throughout this time, ultimately leading him to accept a full-time position with Goodwill as a custodian supervisor for the CDC-Roybal Campus, where he has been working since 2004 and hopefully plans to retire next year.

Darnell credits his managers, Richard James and Michael Dumas, for their support in addition, Darnell thanks his family, friends, and now-wife Carla, for helping him stay focused and teaching him the skills necessary to start his business, New Beginnings Carpet Cleaning, LLC.

When asked how Goodwill has helped him, Darnell stated, “If it hadn’t been for Goodwill, I would still be on the streets. Goodwill saved my life!”