OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) – Any picker will tell you, it’s all about the thrill of the search. For Omaha teenager Noah Wegener, who suffers from cerebral palsy, it can be hard to navigate the old barns and crowded shops, but its not slowing him down.
Thanks to the Goodwill work experience program, Wegener has the opportunity to work independently to hone his craft.
He says the program is helping him get a head start to what he wants to do, open his own antique shop or business.
“It’s not like a normal day job, it’s different, it’s unique,” Wegener said. “It’s the research and the hunt, ‘like what am I going to find today in this barn,’ it’s never the same, it’s always like a treasure hunt you could say.”
Goodwill is proud to administer the YouthBuild Omaha program in partnership with AmeriCorps. YouthBuild supports young adults as they conduct community service while pursuing their GED. Participants engage in construction skills training and have the opportunity to receive various professional certifications as they complete their community service requirements.
Members of this year’s YouthBuild class have being busy working to fulfill their AmeriCorps-required community service hours. Since joining the class this fall, the last few months have presented some opportunities outside the usual construction training volunteer opportunities.
In October several participants helped with Goodwill’s first Halloween Trunk-or-Treat community event. Those who participated did an excellent job of making the guests feel welcome while handing out Halloween candy to trick-or-treaters.
In November a group of YouthBuild participants assisted Heartland Hope Mission assembling and distributing Thanksgiving gift baskets. They were directed to gather donated food items from around the facility and prepare the basket. The volunteers were friendly and enjoyed interacting with the clients as they helped them to their vehicles.
Family Housing Advisory hosted various volunteer opportunities throughout December. YouthBuild decorated their Lake Point Center for the annual Christmas in the Village event. Keep Omaha Beautiful provided supplies for participants to clean up the streets before and after the event. They also stuffed envelopes for community members to learn about potential upcoming changes to the tax code.
It has become tradition for YouthBuild to model ugly holiday sweaters on The Morning Blend talk show. Several participants took the opportunity to strut their stuff for the camera. They enjoyed getting a behind-the-scenes look at the news studio and interacting with the hosts on air.
Through these special projects, daily GED classes and construction skills training, participants show professionalism and a dedication to developing themselves while helping their community. The YouthBuild team looks forward to what is to come in 2018!
Halloween comes alive at Goodwill! Check out the Goodwill team showcasing costumes on the Morning Blend. We had a blast searching Goodwill stores to create several individual and group costumes for all ages. Whether you’re looking for a fresh costume idea or just need the finishing touches for your creation, Goodwill is the place to find it! Stop in today, there’s still time to create that perfect Halloween costume at Goodwill. Remember, when you shop at Goodwill you are supporting our job readiness programs that are helping people from all over the community to achieve their employment goals.
It was Affordable Friday on The Morning Blend on 7/1/16!
Take a look at what both Mary and Mike found to wear for the show at Goodwill’s location near 78th and Dodge. They also focused on our new Business Solutions program and how Goodwill can help companies find the right applicants for jobs.
Goodwill Omaha’s YouthBuild crew was highlighted during WOWT’s 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. newscasts on 4/20/16. The segments featured the YouthBuild students’ work on a solar playhouse through the Builders of the Future mentoring program.
A segment during KETV’s 10:00 p.m. newscast on 4/3/16 highlighted Goodwill Omaha’s Work Experience program and Autism awareness.
KETV’s Julie Cornell visited Goodwill’s Bellevue retail store to meet Work Experience student Kayla Smithberg and asked her how the Goodwill program has helped her plan for the future. Kayla did a GREAT job!
Special thanks to Kayla, Jake Pederson (WE trainer), Lisa Ayala (Bellevue manager), the Bellevue Retail Crew, and Janelle Ellis (DM) for participating in this media opportunity