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Goodwill Success Story: Meet David



David has worked consistently for Goodwill since May 29, 2004. He is a document destruction worker. For 14 years, he has shown up on time and ready to work Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. at OSU Medical Center, where he shreds confidential information.

David has developed a system that lets him work at a quick pace. He is meticulous in removing paper clips and other potential hazards from the documents. He is serious about sorting. He keeps his space organized, sweeping the work area and taking out shred bags. David looks forward to completing these tasks each and every day, and he takes pride in his ability to perform his job.

You bet he does.

David, 61, has mild intellectual disability. He also has paraplegia/periapsis due to his being struck by a car while riding a bicycle in 1990. He is confined to a wheelchair and wears a brace on his left hand. Appropriate social interactions with others used to be hard for him, and David struggled with impulsivity and a harsh temperament.

Despite it all, David has developed skills that allow him to work safely and as independently as possible in Goodwill’s Community-Based program. With support from his Goodwill Job Coaches, David has improved in his social skills and he maintains a professional attitude with his coworkers, refraining from impulsive reactions and managing his temperament.

“I like the job coaches,” David said. “They know what to say.”

David is an example of how individuals with disabilities can feel like contributing members of society when they receive the supports they require to be successful. Through the Goodwill program, David has the satisfaction of working and earning a paycheck despite his disabilities.

David’s work ethic earned him many awards for perfect attendance over the years. The streak ended in 2017, when a sudden health issue left him hospitalized. After a recovery period of several months, David returned and worked 3.25 hours per day. In September, he extended his work hours to 4.25 hours per day. David is excited to return to his regular schedule beginning in January 2019.

“I love it,” David said of his job. “It never gets boring.”

Outside of work, David enjoys drawing and coloring. He often does his art while listening to his favorite musician, Elvis Presley. Sometimes, he even gets to listen at work.

“Elvis is in the building!” David said.


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2800 Southwest Boulevard, Tulsa OK 74107