William Cox

Watch William’s story here.

As an adult, William Cox was diagnosed with a disability. This made it difficult to find sustainable employment and resulted in financial hardship. His counselor at the Inland Regional Center referred Cox to Goodwill Southern California. With no job and no family or friends locally, Cox had very limited social interactions outside of his weekly church visits. His IRC counselor thought Goodwill could provide a great opportunity for him to learn valuable vocational skills in addition to providing some social interaction.

In 2009, Cox joined the Work Activity Program (WAP) and was placed as a Trainee with the Computer Recycling division at the Goodwill Southern California San Bernardino Campus. Although he initially struggled, he was eventually able to master his job duties and began to excel in his position. Not only did Cox shine as a Goodwill trainee, he also blossomed into a social butterfly.

After just three months as a WAP participant, Cox parlayed his experience and social growth into a position as a Retail Trainee in the Goodwill Redlands retail store. His counselors and managers believed his newly acquired social skills would be a great asset to the store and the community. Once shy, Cox evolved into an out-going employee who went out of his way to make co-workers and customers happy.

Not only has Cox grown from his experience at Goodwill, he now mentors others in his own right. He befriended another participant who was very introverted. At home, this participant never came out of his room, not even for dinner; and at work, he rarely spoke to anyone. The two became friends and Cox helped to bring him out of his shell. As the friendship grew, he invited Cox over for dinner, and for the first time ate with a group.

Cox now likes to travel and advocates for Goodwill and its mission to anyone who will listen. Giving his own life as testimony for the positive impact of Goodwill, Cox illustrates how one’s life can be transformed through the power of work and the transformation continues as it is shared with others. Congratulations to William Cox, Goodwill’s 2013 Achiever of the Year.