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Mother's Goodwill legacy comes full circle


Nita Conway of Tulsa works for American Airlines as a technical assistant. She shares how Job Connection helped her find that job and how her mother's influence guided her through the long process.   


I dedicate the success of my overcoming the challenges I faced this year as a legacy to my mother, Lois Baker Davies.

For 28 years my career was focused as a legal administrative assistant.  My years of service were divided between a private firm and a corporate energy environment.  In March 2013, I lost my job.

 Photo by Modisane Kwanza
Nita Conway found her job at American Airlines by working with Job Connection at Goodwill Tulsa. (11/14/13)

I had never been without a position and when the unexpected happened to me, it brought an awareness of the emotional devastation a person experiences over of the loss of a career.  I had experienced personal loss — but this was different.  To me, my career was not only a job; it was a way of life.

In the days following, I applied for unemployment benefits and immediately began my job search.  I never thought it would be so difficult to land a position.  My administrative experience and skill qualifications were up to date with today’s technology.  After four weeks with no success, I began to doubt my self-esteem.  

I heard about Goodwill’s Job Connection from a television commercial and decided to visit the facility.  When I walked into the center, the positive and sincere efforts of the helpful employees assured me to believe they would do everything possible to assist me in finding a job.

Fascinated with the airline industry since 1986, I had a desire to work at American Airlines.  In April when at the Job Connection center, I saw a posting for temporary employment at American and submitted my resume.  I continued to seek other employers as well. 

By the end of May, I was contacted by American and offered a temporary job.  Once I was employed, throughout the summer I continued to apply for permanent job postings within the company.  I was determined to land employment where I could work and obtain benefits that accompanied a full-time employee position.

After applying for 25 job postings within American, going on 4 interviews (2 were conducted in Dallas), on October 21 I was offered a technical assistant position and gladly accepted the offer.  I began my new full-time career at American on October 28, 2013.  I never gave up pursuing my dream and my efforts paid off.

I owe the success in my life to my Mother.  She taught me from the cradle to love God, work hard, love others and to never give up.



                                       Courtesy photo
 Lois Baker Davies on Easter Sunday 1994 with great-grandson Cody McElyea at West Tulsa United Methodist Church.

 Courtesy photo
West Tulsa United Methodist Church, around 1958.

In 1927 as a 9-year-old child, my mother was one of the first Goodwill volunteers at the West Tulsa United Methodist Church when the foundation was established under the Reverend Wilkie Clock.  Her efforts and those of many others were a vital part of the beginning of the structure at Goodwill.  Mother and a few of the remaining volunteers were honored at the Goodwill 50th Anniversary in 1977.  She was presented her award by Channel 8 news anchor Bob Hower. She was a member of the church until she died October 11, 2006.

In addition, my grandparents Troy and Birdie Baker were Tulsa residents and served the community.  My grandmother worked at the Tulsa Day Nursery in the 1920s caring for underprivileged children.  My grandfather gave shelter in their West Tulsa home to people in danger during the 1921 Tulsa Race Riots.  A lifetime of servicing the Tulsa community runs in my family.

When the challenges during the job search became financially and emotionally overwhelming, I became very despondent.  It was during those times I know Mom would whisper in my ear and say “Don’t give up Sis, don’t give up!”  I didn’t give up.  In life, you are going to be faced with challenges but it is how you handle the challenges that matter.

The efforts in the basement of the church by Mom and those first volunteers 86 years ago, has returned full circle in my life.  Today, my testimony and career success is dedicated to my mother Lois Baker Davies and the service provided by Job Connection at Goodwill.



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