Indianapolis Woman Named Goodwill 's Achiever of the Year

Goodwill Industries International
Friday, 20 June 2003

At a Goodwill retail store in Indianapolis, Lorena Salas not only works as a textile hanger. She's also taken on the role of translator for members of the Spanish-speaking community that frequent the store. Her exuberant personality and positive attitude make her a natural for working with the public in this way.

In fact, the people who come in contact with her are likely to notice these qualities long before they notice that she is blind and has cerebral palsy.

Even as a young woman, Salas was never deterred by her disabilities. While it was a difficult decision to leave her home and family, she attended the Indiana School for the Blind, committed to pursuing her studies with a mind for the future. More than anything, Salas wanted to work. When her first job experience at a workshop for the blind left her dissatisfied, Salas turned to Goodwill Industries of Central Indiana for help in finding something more challenging.

Salas' Goodwill job coach soon helped her train for a position at a local Goodwill store, finding something that fit her abilities and accommodated her disabilities. Salas uses a walker and experiences low dexterity and weakness in her hands, but that doesn't stop her from meeting and beating her daily goals of organizing clothing on the rolling racks that are used to transfer merchandise out to the sales floor.

Bob Wilson, Salas' manager, says, "The employees at the store love working with her because she is so positive. She lifts your spirit and keeps everyone smiling."

This year, Goodwill Industries International honors Salas with its Achiever of the Year Award, an annual distinction reserved for a Goodwill client who achieves job success at a local Goodwill, despite various workplace barriers. "Lorena's success and her value to the Indianapolis Goodwill show how everyone can contribute to their community in meaningful ways," says George W. Kessinger, President and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. "Lorena's story reminds us that any and all barriers can be overcome with determination and the right support."

For more information, or to contact Goodwill Industries International, see their website at:

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