Di'anne's Story: From COVID Battle to Career Opportunity

Di'anne smiles brightly as she opens a neatly organized binder, filled with certifications and achievements. Each one represents part of her journey with Goodwill Southeast Georgia.

On the surface, the binder is a timeline of growth and career success. But to Di’anne, it’s so much more. The documents and certifications inside provided a lifeline for her in her greatest time of need. To Di’anne, the binder represents the many options she now has for the next steps in her life and career --after it seemed like she had no choices left.

“I say Goodwill gave me the will to do,” quips Di’anne, a self-proclaimed fan of slogans and acronyms. Di’anne says she loves using those strategies to help her learn and retain information—a skill she thought she lost.

20240124 130832

A battle with COVID nearly took her life, leaving her with a long recovery and lasting effects such as brain fog and PTSD. ​

Di’anne discovered Goodwill at a time when she was looking to regain confidence and re-enter the workforce after her COVID battle.

“I lost everything,” says Di’anne. “I ended up in a hotel…and it took away from me, because anyone who knew of me (knew) I was running three companies, I was the go-getter.”

Previously, she had worked in the medical field. Now, Di’anne felt lost and hopeless, suffering from anxiety and fear. ​

“I felt like I was at my end,” she says.

20240124 131038

Di’anne decided to try a session of the AARP 50+ Back to Work program at Goodwill Southeast Georgia’s Savannah Opportunity Center.

Goodwill invested in her education and gave Di'anne motivation to achieve her goals--including a new career in manufacturing and warehousing.​

“When I took that class, I got really motivated. I got 7 certifications out of it. And it just stirred up the gears, and now, it’s like I’m unstoppable.”

Goodwill provided funding for Di’anne’s Fast Track manufacturing course at Savannah Tech, where she graduated top of her class. She was offered and completed jockey truck training as well.​

Through these opportunities, Di'anne was able to gain employment with FedEx and Coastal Care Partners. Today, Di'anne happily shares her Goodwill experience with others, and helps connect community members with Goodwill programs.


“I meet people and tell them all about the Opportunity Center. They didn’t just set you up to get jobs, to put you in these job fairs,” says Di’anne. “They helped carry you through to make sure you succeed at it.

"(Goodwill) is way more than donating clothes or a way to get inexpensive items. It’s a real resource for different avenues in your life.”

Ready to learn new skills?

Goodwill Opportunity Centers provide support and training to help people gain confidence and thrive in high-demand careers.

Ashlyn Flowers

Ashlyn Flowers

Skip to content