Meet Josh

Josh has a genuinely kind, sweet and somewhat shy demeanor that hasMale Goodwill employee in the Goodwill production area. endeared him to manager Amanda and his fellow team members at the Twin Falls Goodwill store where he’s worked since 2021. Don’t be fooled though by his sweet nature. Josh also possesses a strong and determined spirit.

He came into the world at just 26 weeks and was given only a 2% chance to survive. Survive he did and despite a severe hearing loss due to his premature arrival, Josh has overcome many challenges and is making a happy and meaningful life for himself. His biggest fans and strongest supporters are his mom Tonia and his stepdad Michael.

After reaching the end of his speech therapy services a few years ago his therapist suggested that, if Josh was interested, having a job might help him further develop and practice his speaking and his social skills. Josh and his parents agreed that working would be a good experience and that led Josh to his current job at Goodwill.

Josh started by tagging and stocking toys and then moved to electronics. Michael accompanied him the first week to lend support and help explain tasks. Store manager Amanda and the store staff worked to help Josh become more comfortable in the store environment, listening and taking part in conversations among co-workers, and eventually interacting with store customers.

Josh was doing such a great job in tagging and stocking the electronics area that Amanda assigned him to the media area to stock DVDs, video games and CDs. Amanda says it was at this point that Josh totally opened up with his communication. “He talked all about the movies that he was stocking, who played in them, what new releases were coming out, and what movies he had at home,” she said. Josh is a huge movie buff and this shift gave him the opportunity to share his knowledge and excitement with his co-workers.

Josh works a few hours each week at the store and his stepdad Michael says there’s nothing that’s been better for Josh’s growth and development than his job at Goodwill. “He feels very accepted by everyone at work and part of his community. He has really excelled since starting at Goodwill,” Michael said. “Josh is always excited to go to work and he’s also happier at home.”

Today Josh not only works to tag and stock merchandise; since gaining some experience in interacting with customers, he’s added donation door attendant to his list of responsibilities. He’s always excited when time comes to work the donation door and Josh is doing a great job of greeting people, unloading donations, thanking our donors and handing them receipts.  

Reflecting on Josh and his progress over the past 2½ years, Amanda said “Josh has changed my life and his team members’ lives as much as working at Goodwill has changed Josh’s life.”