Teri Shamblin is proof that it is never too late to learn something new. Moreover, the 56-year-old grandmother from Phoenix is proof that if you’re willing to learn new skills at any age, your life can change for the better.
In 2005, Shamblin was at a self-described low point in her life. She was unemployed, recently divorced and was living at a local domestic violence shelter. Shamblin said staff members at the shelter encouraged her to visit a Goodwill Career Center in order to boost her chances at finding work.
Almost immediately, Shamblin enrolled in Goodwill’s Computer and Customer Service Training (CCST) program.
The CCST program prepares students for employment in clerical, financial services or customer service fields. The fast-paced curriculum consists of 120 classroom hours on the topics of computer basics, customer service, telephone service, financial services and human relations. Students also learn how to use the Internet and the basics of Microsoft Office products.
Ultimately, the CCST program allows students to obtain higher paying jobs with benefits, thus providing the graduates the opportunity to financially support themselves and their families – which equals a foundation of self-sufficiency.
Before taking the class, Shamblin did not know much about technology.
“Teri had little experience on the computer prior to taking the class and her self-confidence was pretty shaky,” said Lou Ann D’Elosua, Computer Instructor. “However, her energy, determination and enthusiasm were magnanimous. She picked up topics quickly and her excitement about the new challenge proved to be uplifting and encouraging for all the students.”
Shamblin said that she was able to establish an e-mail address, submit her resumes online and by fax and she became well-acquainted with a variety of software programs and applications.
The Career Center also utilized an online personality profile to determine which industry would be a good fit for Shamblin. Her vibrant, friendly and ambitious nature made her a perfect match for a career in sales, customer service and public relations.
As a result, Shamblin has been working for almost five years in property management. She currently serves as an assistant manager/leasing consultant for Phoenician Pines and her computer/customer service training has allowed her to excel at her job.
Shamblin said she does not want to think about what she would be doing with her life if she had never sought assistance from Goodwill. Now, she owns a car, she is focused on being a good example for her family members, and she is searching for her first home.
“Goodwill has opened so many doors for me,” said Shamblin. “Best of all, the CCST program gave me the drive to succeed. I know that I’m valuable and I care about my future.”
“I think the biggest lesson for Teri was finding direction, motivation and self-worth. The CCST class not only gives students the necessary computer skills to compete, but the confidence to say, ‘Yes, I can do that.’ ”
Pictured above: Goodwill participant and success story, Teri Shamblin (left), returns to the Peoria Career Center in June to thank her CCST instructor, Lou Ann D’Elosua.