SOURCE: Goodwill Industries International

May 07, 2008 09:58 ET

San Francisco Woman's Strong Work Ethic Turns Around a Life of Addiction

Sheryl Uribe Named Goodwill's 2008 Achiever of the Year

ROCKVILLE, MD--(Marketwire - May 7, 2008) - After leaving behind a decade of cocaine and heroine addiction, Sheryl Uribe was exhausted both physically and emotionally when she approached Goodwill Industries of San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin Counties for help. Now successfully employed by the Goodwill for more three years and promoted repeatedly, Uribe has proven to herself and others that she deserved a second chance. Her strong work ethic and commitment to excellence on the job have garnered Uribe the 2008 Achiever of the Year Award from Goodwill Industries International.

At one time Uribe refrained from smiling because of how rotten and infected her teeth had become because of her addictions. She served time for drug-related crimes and was then met with repeated rejection when applying for work.

Uribe entered a program called "Sisters" run by Walden House in the San Francisco Jail where one of her counselors recommended going to Goodwill.

"Sheryl didn't let rejections from employers erode her plans to turn her life around because she knew that work was her one ticket to a better life," says Jim Gibbons, President and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. "Goodwill was there at a critical point in Sheryl's life, but it was Sheryl who seized the opportunity and surpassed everyone's expectations."

Initially, Sheryl worked for nine months as a transitional employee on the Goodwill loading docks. Her supervisors were impressed with her work ethic and soon hired her as a cashier at the As-Is Store. It didn't take long for Uribe to become assistant manager where she garnered Employee of the Month nine consecutive times.

"In my 13 years at Goodwill Industries I have never seen a harder-working, more dedicated, more dependable, or more honest employee," says Sheldon Callum, manager of the As-Is Store. "[Sheryl] played a key role in helping the store become number one in the agency in terms of sales goals for the year."

In October 2007, Uribe was promoted again, this time to an employment specialist position where she can inspire clients who face similar obstacles that she's already worked tirelessly to overcome. Clean and sober for three years, discharged from probation and reunited with her 14-year-old daughter, Uribe says "Goodwill did more than make me employable. Goodwill saved my life."

Goodwill Industries International's Achiever of the Year is a person who has shown great progress and accomplishment in overcoming obstacles to employment, but who still benefits from the Goodwill work environment or receives services to support employment at a community site.

Contact Information

  • Contact
    Lauren Lawson
    Media Relations Specialist
    Goodwill Industries International
    Tel. (240) 333-5266
    Mobile (240) 388-8309
    E-mail. newsroom@goodwill.org