Success Stories and Videos

SourceAmerica® advocates for the value in hiring and expanding employment opportunities for people with disabilities. The nonprofit agencies in our network hire these individuals to work in various fields like the auto industry, information technology, and facilities maintenance. We are proud to share some amazing success stories and videos from our network!

Palmetto Goodwill: A Federal Partnership Success Story

Palmetto Goodwill: A Federal Partnership Success Story

Palmetto Goodwill Services | Charleston, SC

For over 25 years, Palmetto Goodwill in Charleston, South Carolina, has proven to be a true mission partner with the federal government by employing and empowering people with disabilities through the AbilityOne® Program. AbilityOne contracts with authorized providers in the SourceAmerica® network like Palmetto Goodwill also bring significant economic value. A recent study found that the AbilityOne Program provides an average return on investment for the federal government of $2.66 for every $1 spent to administer the Program.

Read More About Palmetto Goodwill

2023 Celebration of Stories Highlights

2023 Celebration of Stories Highlights

Grassroots Advocacy Conference | Washington, D.C.

During SourceAmerica’s 2023 Grassroots Advocacy Conference, self-advocates, nonprofit leaders, and policy experts gathered in Washington, D.C. to discuss issues that affect disability employment and advocate for increased opportunities for people with disabilities. One key segment of the conference was the Celebration of Stories, a powerful session where self-advocates took to the stage to share their employment experiences, interests, personal journeys, and how the AbilityOne Program has impacted their lives. We were honored to host the self-advocates, applaud their hard work, and celebrate their achievements!

Anthony Lipari, BAC Customer Care Representative, Rockledge, FL

Anthony Lipari

BAC | Rockledge, FL

When Anthony Lipari started training to work at a Tier One Call Center at the Brevard Achievement Center (BAC), he knew nothing about computers, which were a key component to the job. He had spent 27 years as a chef in the restaurant and dining industry. This career pivot was totally out of his comfort zone, but he knew it was what he wanted, so he never looked back.

Read More About Anthony Lipari

BAC Customer Service Representative Michael Herndon Success Story

Michael Herndon

BAC | Rockledge, FL

Michael Herndon never imagined he would find himself helping customers solve their problems one-on-one. He had excellent computer skills but talking to people was not something that came naturally. Now he relishes his role working with customers at the BAC Call Center, as well as assisting his co-workers with computer questions.

Read More About Michael Herndon

2023 William M. Usdane Award Winner Telisha Yvette Griffin

Telisha

Brevard Achievement Center | Patrick Space Force Base, FL

One of Telisha Griffin's co-workers describes her as "a smile that can light up a room." As a cook at the dining facility at Patrick Space Force Base in Rockledge, Florida, Griffin’s high energy and warm personality have made her a favorite with soldiers on the base. She says she always wants to brighten up their day, especially those who are far from home. Griffin quickly moved up in her position due to her strong work ethic and cooking skills.

2023 Honor Roll for Veterans Award Winner Terry McDade

Terry

Beacon Group | Hill Air Force Base, UT

An engineering tech at Hill AFB, Utah, Terry McDade is trusted with thousands of pieces of equipment worth millions of dollars. McDade stands out for his work ethic, skillset and dedication, as well as his advocacy work encouraging veterans to seek help for PTSD. McDade says joining a PTSD program after his years in the Vietnam War was one of the best decisions he ever made. At work and personally, McDade wants to be part of a mission where he is needed.

2023 Tom Miller Advocacy Award Winner Sisay Senbet

Sisay

Didlake | The Pentagon

Sisay Senbet has worked for over ten years at Didlake and is now the lead worker at the Pentagon responsible for planning, coordinating and leading daily operations of the custodial crew. Originally from Ethiopia, Senbet, who is visually impaired, used his advocacy skills to immigrate to the U.S. on his own and to succeed once he arrived. His co-worker says he exemplifies the American dream. Now he proudly advocates for his co-workers and the disability community and cherishes his role as a tutor.

Veterans Bond Through Humor and Helping Others at NASA

Vinnie Howard and Bob Piccolella

BAC | Rockledge, FL

Veterans Vincent “Vinnie” Howard and Robert “Bob” Piccolella have worked side-by-side at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Cape Canaveral, Florida, for four years on a Brevard Achievement Center (BAC) AbilityOne contract. They forged a tight bond through their shared pride as former Marines, their commitment and dedication to their jobs and to helping other veterans — and through their never-ending sense of humor. 

Read More About Vinnie Howard and Bob Piccolella

Chris Collins, Helpful Hands, Inc., EVS 2

Chris Collins

Helpful Hands, Inc. | San Antonio, TX

Chris Collins exemplifies what can be accomplished from hard work, dedication, and a positive attitude. Chris started working for Helpful Hands, Inc. in April 2021. He began work on a cleaning contract at the Madigan Army Medical Center in Lakewood, WA. Within a year of employment, Chris was promoted to an EVS 2, started working independently, and moved into his own apartment for the first time.

Read More About Chris Collins

Loehl Kelley

Loehl Kelley

ServiceSource | Oakton, VA

Loehl Kelley's employment journey demonstrates how passion can trump adversity in the pursuit of reaching your goals. Loehl's inner strength and confidence in his abilities kept him from giving up and allowed him to find a job where he is utilizing all his skills sets and is appreciated and respected.

Read More About Loehl Kelley

Kaseza Ruhumbika, Telecommunication Engineer, GCE, Pensacola, FL

Kaseza Ruhumbika

GCE | Pensacola, FL

For Kaseza Ruhumbika, having a job as a Telecommunication Engineer at GCE offers stability, economic success and control over his future.

Read More About Kaseza Ruhumbika

Katie Galloway, InspiraTec, Fort Knox, KY

Katie Galloway

InspiriTec | Fort Knox, KY

As an advocate for herself and others, Katie wants people to know that “people with disabilities are just as ambitious, capable and hardworking as people without disabilities. We are also very flexible when things get thrown our way as we are used to figuring out new or different ways to accomplish things.” After a catastrophic spinal cord injury in a 2013 car accident, Katie had a long road to recovery. Now she is helping others in her new career.

Read More About Katie Galloway

2022 Usdane Award Winner Cuiye “Yep” Liu

Cuiye

Toolworks Inc. | San Fransisco, CA

Cuiye "Yep" Liu exhibited positive attitude, commitment, responsibility, and resilience while cleaning offices in a high security clearance federal building in San Francisco, where she trained on CDC Covid-19 Level 3 disinfection and is part of a team deployed to disinfect contaminated areas.

2022 Honor Roll for Veterans Award Winner Gary M. McCarthy, Jr.

Gary

InspiriTec Inc. | Fort Knox, KY

Gary McCarthy's work ethic, honed by more than 23 years in the military, takes his work at InspiriTec, Inc. to outstanding levels. Hired as an entry level Tier 1 contact center agent, McCarthy’s performance earned him four promotions in four years, and he now manages a team of more than 80 IT Help Desk professionals.

2022 Tom Miller Advocacy Award Winner Abdul “Karriem” Muhammad

Abdul

Professional Contract Services Inc. (PCSI) | Warren, MI

Award-winner Abdul "Karriem" Muhammad exhibits a passion for serving and advocating for people with disabilities that aligns perfectly with his career as a rehabilitation specialist. In this role, he ensures every employee with a disability has accommodations and training to succeed in all stages of their careers. Muhammad also connects employees with job opportunities at local organizations when they are ready to pursue work outside of the AbilityOne Program.

2022 Evelyne Villines Award Winner Cherie Hill-Mayers

Cherie

Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Wisconsin | Great Lakes, IL

Cherie Hill-Mayers worked at Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Wisconsin, Inc. in Milwaukee for 17 years, performing multiple food service duties on an AbilityOne contract. Within the past year, she took computer and technology training classes, to conduct a job search and fulfilled a long-term goal of establishing a life in Austin, Texas, where she is now employed at a luxury hotel.

SourceAmerica Productivity Engineers Remove Workplace Barriers

SourceAmerica Productivity Engineers Remove Workplace Barriers

Agencies in the SourceAmerica nonprofit network have access to the organization’s Productivity Engineering team, which is devoted to positively changing the way people work. The team’s goal is to fix problems that create bottlenecks in the workplace which hamper the productivity of people with disabilities. This is exactly what they did at Middle Georgia Diversified in Dublin, Georgia.

Read More About SourceAmerica Productivity Engineers

People with Disabilities Support NASA's Mission to Space

People with disabilities support NASA’s space mission

Brevard Achievement Center

At NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, nearly 100 people with disabilities are a part of the team that supports the agency’s space mission.

Read More About Support to NASA's Space Mission

2021 William M. Usdane Award Winner Lysander Jones

Lysander

Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Wisconsin Inc. | Great Lakes, IL

The William M. Usdane Award celebrates an AbilityOne Program employee with a disability who has exhibited outstanding achievement and exceptional character. Among Lysander Jones's many accomplishments during his tenure with Goodwill is his attendance record. He has worked more than 500 shifts without missing a single day – a record that no other employee has come close to reaching.

2021 Tom Miller Advocacy Award Winner Menard Martinez

Menard

Adelante Development Center | Albuquerque, NM

The Tom Miller Advocacy Award recognizes an employee with a disability who has demonstrated outstanding achievement and remarkable passion for self-advocacy on a local, state and/or national level. As an advocate in the nation's capital for people with disabilities, Menard Martinez met with New Mexico's entire congressional delegation, sharing his story and the importance of the government contracts that make his employment possible.

2021 Evelyne Villines Award Winner Corey Starks

Corey

Goodwill Commercial Services | Indianapolis, IN

The Evelyne Villines Award honors an individual with a disability who has advanced from work on an AbilityOne contract into management (supervisory or leadership) within the nonprofit agency, or into private or government employment. Always open to improvement and hard work, Corey Starks was promoted to lead of his agency’s custodial team. His supervisors call him a natural leader.

2021 President's Award Winner Kendra Scott

Kendra

Palmetto Goodwill Services | North Charleston, SC

The President's Award commends a non-AbilityOne® employee with a disability who works in the commercial or public sector and has exhibited outstanding leadership and exceptional character. Kendra Scott is a Line Supervisor at Joint Base Charleston. She also acts as Palmetto Goodwill's volunteer spokesperson to educate the public about the challenges faced by people with sickle cell disease.

PE Glove Assist

Innovative technology lends a hand with the Glove Assist

Ka Lima O Maui | Wailuku, Hi

Everybody needs a helping hand now and again. SourceAmerica’s Productivity Engineering team is dedicated to finding solutions that enhance the talents and skills of people with disabilities in the workplace.

Read More About Glove Assist

People with disabilities at Goodwill South Florida help members of the military

People with disabilities help members of the military step out in style

Goodwill South Florida

People with disabilities at Goodwill South Florida, a nonprofit agency in the SourceAmerica network, manufacture and ship the new Army Green Service Uniform.

Read More About Goodwill South Florida and the New Army Service Uniform

Alex Gobbo

Alex

Peckham | Lansing, MI

As Alex Gobbo prepares for the workday, he is fueled by his desire to help others, and most importantly, the ability to support himself.

Read More About Alex

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Tom

Eggleston Automotive Center | Norfolk, VA

Some of Tom's co-workers call him a "gentle giant." Others call him "Mr. Fix It." All agree that he's the glue that holds the team together. It's not just his size that puts him head and shoulders above so many others; it's his work ethic, integrity, and dependability. Tom is a service-disabled veteran who spent more than two decades in the United States Navy. His military training shines through both on and off the job at Eggleston Automotive Center, and he is known for consistently and conscientiously taking care of business and taking care of his team.

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Tyrone

Job Options, Inc. | San Diego, CA

When Tyrone started his career at Job Options, Inc., he needed a job coach to help him perform his duties. Now, he's coaching others after being promoted to a management position as a housekeeping lead at Naval Medical Center San Diego. Tyrone's supervisors never doubted his ability to excel, pointing to his patience, understanding and tenacity as well as his desire to share his knowledge and experience with co-workers. It took a little longer for Tyrone to learn to believe in himself. Now that he does, he leads by example and energizes his team with his positive attitude and unwavering determination.

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Kevin

Lanakila Pacific | Honolulu, HI

Kevin is a great example of what can happen when the right person is in the right job. He joined Lanakila Pacific several years ago and explored a variety of positions before taking on his current role with Lanakila Kitchen. He is known for his smile and dependability and for uplifting co-workers and customers alike. This bustling environment initially posed challenges for Kevin, who has Asperger’s syndrome, but amid the clanking dishes, steaming pots and boisterous camaraderie, he found a job that's a great fit for him as well as for the co-workers he mentors and the community he helps feed.

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Kylie

Bobby Dodd Institute | Atlanta, GA

Kylie's voice is changing the world. She uses it to advocate for herself and to teach others with disabilities to advocate on their own behalf. Her title at the Bobby Dodd Institute is special projects coordinator, but her role is so much more. She is a teacher, an advocate, an innovator and an invaluable member of the team. Kylie keeps people engaged and upbeat, and she inspires her students with the message of, "If I can do it, you can too." She doesn't wait for others to advocate for disability rights; she leads the charge in the call for change.

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Jeremy

Global Connections to Employment (GCE) | Lorton, VA

To Jeremy, the world is full of possibility. Undeterred by challenge or change, he fully commits to the task at hand. When the opportunity arose for Jeremy to participate in GCE’s IT training program, he jumped at the chance. Now he’s a business analyst with the organization—flexing his problem-solving skills and creating a work community that better understands and empowers those who are deaf or hard of hearing. It's a job that took him four states away, but in the end, it brought him home.

Paul Success Stories

Paul

lnspiriTec, Inc. | Fort Knox, KY

Paul served our nation overseas in the United States Army, and he continues to serve our nation's veterans as a customer care representative at lnspiriTec, Inc. Paul carries the weight of the world on his shoulders and a commitment to caring for others in his heart. His unique ability to connect on a personal and professional level with his fellow veterans has made him an invaluable asset to the lnspiriTec team, and with his service dog, Jet, by his side, Paul helps veterans successfully make the transition from combat zones to the civilian workforce.

Lori Success Stories

Lori

Goodwill Industries of North Georgia | Decatur, GA

A persuasive and powerful advocate, Lori has made it her mission to stand up against injustice and use her voice to bring about meaningful change. Lori refuses to let her dystonia hold her back, and she has told her story everywhere from the halls of Congress to her hometown. Prior to joining Goodwill Industries of North Georgia, Lori experienced firsthand the challenges of finding a job with a disability. She is quick to emphasize that advocacy for her isn't about getting special consideration; it's about leveling the playing field and laying the groundwork for a more innovative, inclusive and successful American workforce.

Success Stories Gene

Gene

New Leaf, Inc. | Oak Harbor, WA

Gene lives life from the heart. He embraces the task and team at hand, putting his whole self into his work at New Leaf, Inc. As a child, Gene was injured in an accident that left him with permanent reminders of that day; as an adult, he has risen above those challenges, earning the admiration of all those who have had the privilege of working with him. Gene has been called a go-getter, a teacher and a motivator, and he serves as an inspiring example of what we can achieve when we tap into the power of our own unique abilities.

Success Stories Kelly

Kelly

Job Options, Inc. | San Diego, CA

Kelly excels at proving people wrong. When others tell her she can't, it doesn't slow her down; it fuels her determination. Known for stepping up to the plate with a smile and solutions-oriented approaches, she defies expectations about what she can achieve as a person living with rheumatoid arthritis. When Kelly was offered an opportunity through Job Options, Inc. to work for a SENTRI Enrollment Center with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, she welcomed the challenge. Since then, she has worked her way up to become lead customer service representative – proving that when you fight for your dreams, anything is possible.

Success Stories Malcolm

Malcolm

Professional Contract Services Inc. (PCSI) | Austin, TX

Malcolm is a connector. He excels at finding common ground with others and building on those connections to forge a team where everyone feels at home and empowered to do their best. Before being hired by Professional Contract Services Inc., Malcolm had a hard time engaging with others and getting a job. He found his calling at PCSI, and in turn, his co-workers found a listener, a leader, a mentor and a friend. Malcolm has since earned numerous promotions for his outstanding work, and he is known not just for doing his best, but also for motivating and inspiring others to do theirs.

Success Stories Ethan

Ethan

University of Utah | Salt Lake City, UT

Ethan is an avid sports enthusiast and one of the University of Utah’s biggest fans. As part of the SourceAmerica Pathways to Careers Program, staff identified not just Ethan’s love of sports, but also his attention to detail, organizational skills, aptitude for caring for equipment, and excellent problem-solving skills. Ethan’s participation in the Pathways program resulted in an internship at the University of Utah, where he was subsequently hired as an assistant athletics equipment attendant. In this position, Ethan interacts daily with university athletes, and his responsibilities include caring for and accounting for uniforms and equipment and packing and unpacking athletes’ bags. Ethan has been employed at the university for over five years – making him one of the longest-tenured employees in the athletic department. Through this opportunity, Ethan is pursuing a career that matches his skills and abilities as well as his dreams, and he’s thrilled that it came with the added bonus of having season tickets to the University of Utah’s sporting events!

Success Stories Ashtin

Ashtin

Legacy House of Ogden | Ogden, UT

Ashtin is productive, helpful and outgoing, and she has excellent customer service skills, which were identified during the SourceAmerica Pathways to Careers Program's Discovery Process. After completing an internship at Legacy House of Ogden, a premier senior living center in Ogden, Utah, Ashtin was hired as a kitchen and dining aide. She has been employed for more than three years in this position, and her responsibilities include taking drink orders, folding napkins, and organizing and prepping the dining area for the next dining service. Ashtin is thriving in this environment, and many of the residents ask for her when they are dining. In April 2017, Kyle, then-director of the Legacy House of Ogden, awarded Ashtin the “Personal Touch” recognition pin for the month of March in honor of her hard work and dedication.

Success Stories Daniel

Daniel

AHRC | New York, NY

Daniel has been employed at the United States Bankruptcy Court Eastern District in Brooklyn, New York, since 2005. He is an exemplary employee and has great working relationships with the U.S. Attorneys as well as the staff members of the Bankruptcy Court and the General Services Administration. Diagnosed with a learning disability in middle school, Daniel faced many obstacles on his journey to employment. He never stopped fighting his way forward and worked in a number of different positions as he sought to find a job that was the right fit for him. It wasn’t until he came to AHRC that he found long-term employment success. AHRC placed Daniel at a Metropolitan Transit Authority site, and after a year, he was promoted to his current position as light duty specialist/vacuum specialist at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, where he continues to gain skills and confidence and contribute as a highly valued member of the team.

Anthony Green Success Stories

Anthony

Palmetto Goodwill Services | Charleston, SC

Anthony is a firm believer in paying it forward. When he was down on his luck after being diagnosed with bipolar disorder, he got a second chance through Palmetto Goodwill Services. He's now a project manager and the president of the organization's self-advocacy group. As a way of giving back, Anthony advocates for the people and programs that turned his life around. He's also teaching others to tap into the power of their own voice. Whether working on local issues or a national call to action, Anthony is changing policy and perceptions one person, one issue, one day at a time.

Success Stories Barbara

Barbara

VGS, Inc. | Cleveland, OH

Barbara’s positivity and can-do spirit have the power to light up a room. To those who work with her, she’s a role model, a leader, an inspiration and an expert at her craft. She’s also visually impaired. Not one to let her disability hold her back, she started a small business making home goods like comforters, curtains, throw pillows and shams before going on to a career at VGS, Inc. Now, she works as an expert seamstress with VGS and takes pride in sewing uniforms for members of our nation’s military. Uplifting and upbeat, Barbara puts her whole self into her job, and in doing so, raises up all those around her.

Success Stories Geno

Geno

VGS, Inc. | Elyria, OH

Never give up; always keep going and giving your all. That is how Geno approaches his job as production coordinator at VGS, Inc. and his life with rheumatoid arthritis. With a positive attitude and an aptitude for problem-solving, Geno is known for implementing innovative accommodations for himself and going the extra mile for customers. He is the go-to guy when it comes to making sure customer orders are shipped out on time and tracking them down when needed. Passionate about his job and committed to his co-workers, Geno raises the bar for what it means to be a stellar employee and a steadfast friend.

Neil Colomac

Neil

Skookum Contract Services | Bremerton, WA

Driven by duty to country, family, friends and fellow soldiers, Neil answered our nation's call to serve. A soldier by choice and team player by nature, Neil found himself searching for a new path forward after being medically retired from the military due to injuries sustained in Afghanistan. Despite multiple obstacles, Neil never gave up, and his hard work and perseverance earned him a job and numerous promotions with Skookum Contract Services. Neil is known for going above and beyond in everything that is asked of him, and every day he exemplifies his belief that service means giving more than you receive.