Congratulations to Archie Gibbs, 2015 Goodwill Industries International Graduate of the Year

 

"I wouldn't be where I am today if I didn't have faith, God and Goodwill in my life"

Archie Gibbs describes his life journey as being "as long as the yellow brick road." At age 7, he woke up one morning unable to hear from his left ear and barely able to hear from his right. After suffering physical abuse at the hands of his mother's boyfriend, Archie went into foster care at age 12. He worked at a series of restaurant jobs through high school, all while moving to various foster homes, and his attempt to attend college after graduation failed from lack of money and transportation. Unemployed and out of school, he arrived on foot at a Goodwill career center in 1998 in search of assistance.

When Archie Gibbs arrived at Goodwill, he lacked direction and focus - but he more than made up for it in his desire to learn and his willingness to work despite his disability and disadvantaged background. He first trained as a material handler and sorter, but he found his niche with Goodwill's custodial service training program, and with the assistance and mentorship of Goodwill's custodial supervisor, Archie soon became a valuable and trusted member of the Goodwill custodial staff. He demonstrated that value when he was named the Graduate of the Year of for our Goodwill in 1999, and later named Exemplary Employee of the Year for the city of Macon. What Archie learned during the custodial program proved to be the key to his success as he later became a custodial supervisor for the city of Macon, cleaning Mayor Jack Ellis' executive office suite. Archie then took full advantage of his Goodwill custodial and entrepreneurial training by establishing his own commercial and residential cleaning service that has since crossed the $1 million mark in annual revenues.