Spotlight on Success: 2013 Graduate of the Year: J. Jondhi Harrell

j  awards dinnerOut of the 4.2 million Americans who received employment and training services from Goodwills across the nation last year, ONE was chosen as Goodwill’s 2013 Graduate of the Year. We are incredibly honored to announce that this year’s winner is a graduate of Goodwill Industries of Southern NJ & Philadelphia’s Ex-Offender Re-Entry program! We congratulate J. Jondhi Harrell for receiving this national award.

After serving almost two decades in prison, J. Jondhi Harrell is now an outspoken advocate for individuals who were formerly incarcerated as they rejoin their communities. He began mentoring others while still in prison and, upon his release, enrolled in Goodwill’s Ex-Offender Re-Entry Program, which helps people with criminal backgrounds gain work experience and build a resume. While in the program, Harrell used transitional employment with Goodwill as a stepping stone to other work. He also earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Phoenix and is currently working toward a master’s in social work at Temple University.

When he’s not studying, Harrell divides his time between working as a service coordinator at Pathways to Housing PA in Philadelphia and running his own nonprofit, The Center for Returning Citizens, that helps people with criminal backgrounds find work, housing and other supports. Harrell is a tireless advocate for those who’ve had similar experiences to his own, and he’s a confident public speaker, spreading the word to policy makers, the media and the public about the need for a continuum of services for this population.

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Harrell says his accomplishments would not have been possible without Goodwill’s help. “I am proud to be a part of the Goodwill family. The Goodwill model for assisting former prisoners should be adopted across the country. Recidivism rates would fall, families would be reunited and communities would be stronger.”

Harrell will receive his award this month at Goodwill’s annual Delegate Assembly meeting in Grand Rapids, MI..

Listen to J. Jondhi Harrell’s story.

Spotlight on Success

Meet Judy Margulies. Judy M _fb

After 20+ years in the banking world, Judy decided to take an early retirement but shortly after realized she wasn’t ready for the world of retirement. She started searching for a new job but after several months with no job prospects, she became involved with the Women’s Opportunity Center of Burlington County.  They referred her to Goodwill’s JOB CLUB for career services.

From the moment she stepped through Goodwill’s doors, she felt at ease and confident that she was on the right path.  Goodwill Job Developer Sean Hinnegan quickly helped Judy update her resume, conduct job searches and follow up on submitted resumes.  Before long, she heard those magical words—“You’re hired.”

In her new position as branch manager for Beneficial Bank, Judy is responsible for all facets of branch management—ranging from new business development, sales, customer service and audits.  “This job means the world to me.  It has given me a sense of renewal and purpose,” she said.  Goodwill’s caring and compassionate staff of job developers certainly made a positive impression on Judy.

ABOUT JOB CLUB job-search
JOB CLUB provides local job seekers with the resources needed to conduct a successful job search-at no cost to them. JOB CLUB is held every Tuesday and Wednesday at Goodwill offices in Stratford and Maple Shade. Free and unlimited access to Internet-ready computers for conducting online research and job searches; to local job postings and career fair information; and to phone lines and fax machines is available. Come one, come all, our employment specialists and job developers will assist you in formulating a plan for career success! Call 856.439.022 for more information.

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Goodwill’s JOB CLUB meets:

Every Tuesday
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
222 White Horse Pike, Stratford, NJ 08084

Every Wednesday
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
2835 Route 73, Maple Shade, NJ 08052