3 Goodwill Clients Recognized for Achievements

July 17, 2013, By Kelly Urban, Johnstown Tribune-Democrat

It was about honoring those who are working to transform their lives and generating opportunities in the community.

Goodwill of the Southern Alleghenies held its annual awards luncheon Tuesday at the Holiday Inn in downtown Johnstown and highlighted individual success stories from the previous year.

Three Goodwill clients – John Forosisky, Ryan Mennecke and Kelley Berkey – received the 2012 Achiever of the Year Award for overcoming obstacles and striving to reach their full potential.

Forosisky came to Goodwill as a participant in the GoodGuides Youth Mentoring Program. In January 2012, he began employment at Ideal Market in downtown Johnstown. He started working two mornings a week bagging groceries and greeting customers. He is still employed by the store, and his responsibilities have been expanded.

Mennecke was referred to the GoodGuides Youth Mentoring Program and met his mentors, George and Nancy Higgins, when he was a freshman in high school. He recently graduated from high school and plans to attend the Commonwealth Technical Institute in Johnstown for vocational training.

“Ryan has truly changed from the 15-year-old we met three years ago. We couldn’t be more proud of him if he was our own son,” said George Higgins. “Ryan’s success is not in the position he reaches but in the obstacles he will overcome.”

In the spring of 2012, Berkey went to CareerLink to utilize a Goodwill program that connects employers with job seekers. With planner, she was able to gain employment at the Richland Goodwill retail store. She also took an additional job at Big Lots in Richland Township while studying to take the General Educational Development test. In August, Berkey took the GED test and scored in the 90th percentile on four out of the five sections.

“These young people are able to look to the future, move forward and be a part of the community,” said Phyllis Bandstra, president and CEO of Goodwill.

Korns Galvanizing Inc. in Moxham was named the 2012 Employer of the Year. The company currently employs four graduates of Goodwill programs.

“Our highest priority is to create jobs in the community, and we have a wonderful partnership with Goodwill,” said Kathleen Sheehan Ortel, company president.

The Cambria Somerset Human Resources Association received the 2012 Partnership of the Year Award for working with Goodwill’s Southern Alleghenies Career Education Partnership in the creation of the Youth Professional Development Conference.

The event was attended by nearly 200 high school students from 13 high schools in Cambria and Somerset counties. This year’s conference is being planned for October.

Bandstra added that the organization is one of many moving parts but everything and everyone is intertwined and the award recipients reflect that.

“Goodwill belongs to the community. We couldn’t do anything on our own,” she said.

“These young people are able to look to the future, move forward and be a part of the community.”


Copyright © 2013, Tribune-Democrat

Online Shopping at Goodwill

Through the Shopgoodwill online auction site, you can experience a fun and exciting way to shop for specialty items such as one-of-a-kinds, collectibles, antiques, estate pieces, jewelry, nostalgic items, and more!

At Goodwill of the Southern Alleghenies, we know that our donors value their donations to Goodwill and want us to get the maximum value possible to support our mission. Listing these items on Shopgoodwill allows us to generate more revenue because these items go to the highest bidders who know the values of the items.

Donors can be sure that the revenue generated from the sale of their donated items on Shopgoodwill.com will support job training and employment services for people in their community – just as it does through purchases made in our 10 Goodwill Retail Stores.