Marsha Martin – Supported Employment Program

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Most people with disabilities come to Goodwill seeking help to find jobs. Not Marsha Martin. The Brooklyn resident in her thirties with a mild intellectual disability  had been working in retail thanks to a family connection since 2019. But she was struggling to communicate at work, so she came to Goodwill to get help.

Our team completed the discovery and job development assessment to determine if a job in a different sector would be a better fit. They also   helped her improve her social and communication skills. Marsha’s mother helped her get a job at Triboro Center, a senior residential center, In May 2023. The Goodwill team began providing her on-the-job coaching when her supervisors questioned her time management skills and ability to work in the kitchen because she struggled to communicate with staff. She was timid and unsure in this new environment. Managers suggested that she could work in other position in the company, but Marsha remained firm. She wanted to continue working in the kitchen. So both of her Goodwill Job Coaches worked to identify her areas of weakness: her level of confidence. They helped her build her communication skills and encouraged her to speak up, ask management for guidance and ask for additional assignments.

Now Marsha gets to work on time, feels more comfortable working with the kitchen team, communicating  with her supervisors and coworkers, and interacting with residents. The management team has increased her responsibilities so Marsha is working in additional food preparation stations five hrs. three or four days/week. And they would like for her to start working the dinner line. “Marsha is a success; she stepped out of her comfort zone, remained in her position, and has elevated her work responsibilities,” says Job Coach  Michelle De La Cruz.

If you are seeking employment or need support to maintain your current job, please email

Story submitted by the Supported Employment Program (SEMP) team:

Michelle De La Cruz, Job Coach.

Cynthia Hackett, Program Manager.

Aaron Shmueli, Assistant Vice President.