SARASOTA/BRADENTON, FL – Goodwill Manasota has recently launched the GRACE – Goodwill Returning Ambitious, Confident people to Employment – program, with the support and partnership of 106.5 CTQ radio personality Maverick and NUOVO Salons. Through GRACE, people who are seeking employment will receive clothing and career counseling from Goodwill, on-air support from Maverick, and hair and makeup by NUOVO, to help boost their confidence through the search and interview process.
Maverick, who is a Goodwill Ambassador – a community volunteer who speaks on the organization’s behalf and introduces new friends to the cause – came up with the idea for the program after reading a news story about a salon in Florida providing makeovers for homeless people.
“It was a chance to give them a better feeling of self and, at the same time, a better chance to re-enter the workforce,” he said. “As I was reading that, I thought of Goodwill. They have such wonderful job assistance programs, from résumé building to classes to improve a variety of business skill-sets. Plus they have their wonderful retail centers, with fantastic clothes and accessories.”
Maverick reached out to Goodwill Foundation vice president Veronica Brandon Miller, who loved the idea. All that was missing to replicate the program in Sarasota was a salon willing to donate hair and makeup services. Enter NUOVO Salons and owners Terry McKee and James Amato, who were thrilled to partner on this initiative.
“Any interviewer will tell you that they size you up in the first few seconds. Our world is very visual and it happens very quickly,” said McKee. “Our team is trained in body language, we’re trained to evaluate how people are dressed and how they’ve done their hair and makeup. To be able to give someone some insight and an enhanced outward presentation at the same time is really rewarding.”
The GRACE project is named for Maverick’s mother. “I wanted to give this program a name that would connect Goodwill’s mission with that of a person seeking self-improvement. GRACE just came to me,” Maverick
said. “First because it’s my mother’s name. It is a name that fits her perfectly – she is the definition of the word grace, as she is elegant, poised and dignified. She raised two kids locally, was married to my Dad for 43 years until his passing in 2011, she is a breast cancer survivor, she worked two jobs to help support her family, even while undergoing chemo … She is simply the strongest and most caring person I know.”
The first recipient of services was Diana Grandy, who Miller had met through Leadership Sarasota in 2007. Grandy has worked in commercial real estate and property management but wishes reinvent herself and is seeking new opportunities to work with nonprofits and special events. She has been working temporary jobs for some time but has had difficulty in finding a long-term, more stable career opportunity.
“There are far too many individuals out there who have skills, experience and a willingness to learn but may be held back because they are unsure of their appearance,” said Miller. “Through the GRACE program, we can take someone who already has the courage to reinvent themselves and give them the confidence they need to succeed. We are so grateful to Maverick and NUOVO Salons for their support and passion for helping others.”
For more information or to make a donation to the GRACE program, call (941) 355-2721 or go to www.experiencegoodwill.org.