Athens resident Jayana Simmons learned about the This Way ONward internship opportunity after her mother attending a hiring event hosted by Goodwill’s Athens Career Center. She was excited to learn that she could participate in a program that would provide her with job readiness training, since this would be her first exposure to the workplace.

Jayana began attending the virtual workshops in April 2021 and by late May, successfully interviewed for one of the coveted positions at Old Navy’s Epps Bridge store. Jayana’s performance during the internship was exemplary. During the 10 weeks of the program, she distinguished herself by excelling at recovering the sales floor and was receptive to coaching from store leaders. Over time, she became more comfortable working with customers and when the internship concluded, Old Navy asked her to stay on as a brand associate.

Jayana decided that she would prefer to find a job closer to her home. Working with Employment Specialist Sylvica Lewis, she explored other retail opportunities in Athens, and discovered that a position with the East Athens Goodwill store would be the best fit for her. Jayana has been working at the store since October and has quickly demonstrated herself to be a valuable member of the team.