Mike Bryant, former business partner and friend to Rick Fawley, donates $5,000 to help Goodwill team members earn their high school diplomas
SARASOTA/BRADENTON, FL – Last year, Goodwill Manasota launched the Rick and Coni Fawley Scholarship Fund, to help Goodwill team members who do not have their high school diploma earn their GED. This year, the program was expanded to clients of Goodwill’s free career services program, Job Connection. In mid-December, Mike Bryant – former business partner and good friend to Rick Fawley – presented Goodwill with a $5,000 check designated for the Fawley Scholarship Fund.
Community leader Rick Fawley made an indelible impression on our community. The loss of Fawley in September of 2015 – not long after his wife, Coni, who passed earlier that year – was a great shock to all who knew him and to the greater community in which he lived.
“Fawley Bryant Architecture and its staff are proud to carry on the legacy that Rick Fawley left us and this community by establishing and continuing the Rick and Coni Fawley Scholarship Fund at Goodwill Manasota,” said Bryant. “Having served on the board for more than 20 years, Rick was passionate about Goodwill and he valued education. Creating and continuing a fund that supports the education of Goodwill employees is the perfect tribute to Rick and Coni. They would be thrilled to see the positive impact that it has had on Goodwill team members.”
Currently, of 679 team members with needs assessments, 462 have no post-secondary training and, of those, 105 do not have a high school diploma or GED. Of Job Connection clients, of the 411 people with needs assessments, 199 have no post-secondary training and 70 have no high school diploma or GED. Through the Fawley Scholarship Fund, Goodwill team members will be able to take classes with a GED teacher at the workplace, while on the clock; Job Connection clients will also have access to free classes to help them earn their GED.
One Goodwill team member who has benefited from the Fawley Scholarship Fund is Nancy Berrones, a single mother to six children who has worked at Goodwill for 14 months. She had to drop out of high school in the 11th grade when she got pregnant with her first child. She has experienced many challenges in her life but is determined to do whatever it takes to make a better life for herself and her children.
“I am extremely grateful to Fawley Bryant for creating the Rick and Coni Fawley Scholarship Fund with Goodwill Manasota,” said Berrones. “Before working here, the thought of going back to school to get my GED seemed impossible. My Good Partner Coach helped me to identify my personal and professional goals, and encouraged me to get enrolled in the GED program. The Fawley Scholarship has allowed me to be able to keep working towards my goals while continuing to support my family.”
Berrones says that when she completes her GED, she would like to become a trainer for Goodwill so that she can help teach others.
“Education is the gift that keeps on giving, just like the time we were privileged to spend with Rick – it was a gift. We are so grateful to Mike Bryant for honoring Rick’s legacy in such a generous and meaningful way,” added Goodwill Manasota president and CEO Bob Rosinsky. “By earning their GED, our team members can make more money, increase their job satisfaction, and have the possibility of attending college.”
Beginning January 9, Goodwill Manasota will provide ESOL classes on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. GED/ABE classes will be offered Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:00am-4:00pm. Classes will be conducted by MTC instructor Ellen Sage on-site at the Goodwill Manasota Ranch Lake community room. For more information or to donate to the Rick & Coni Fawley Scholarship Fund, call (941) 355-2721 or go to www.experiencegoodwill.org.
About Goodwill Manasota
Goodwill Manasota is an industry-leading, 501(c)(3), not-for-profit organization that changes lives through the power of work. With the sales of donated goods and philanthropic donations, Goodwill is able to assist people with disabilities and other barriers to employment by providing job skills training and employment opportunities. In 2015, Goodwill Manasota served 22,739 people, placed 961 people in jobs and assisted 358 veterans as they reintegrated back into the civilian workforce. Goodwill Manasota’s economic impact back to the community is worth $81.3 million. Goodwill is one of the pioneers of the reduce-reuse-recycle movement and this past year diverted 41 million pounds out of the landfill. We accomplish our mission through a network of Good Neighbor Centers in Sarasota, Manatee, Hardee and DeSoto counties and our Mission Development Services (MDS) around North America. Goodwill Manasota is accountable to a local Board of Directors. Goodwill Manasota, in essence, belongs to this community and is not owned by any individual or company. For more information, visit www.experiencegoodwill.org.