When thinking about sustainability, it’s easy to default one’s thinking to the physical environment – water management, greenhouse gases, carbon footprint, etc. Our communities are not just how well we can cultivate organic food or that our waste can be recycled. Our communities prosper when families are strong, there are available and accessible opportunities AND there are real prospects of success (whatever that definition may be to any individual). Goodwill Industries of Southern Arizona operates 10 mission programs and Academic Services that have helped thousands each year work towards their career and educational goals. Tara Carmody, Academic Services Coordinator will talk specifically about Goodwill’s youth programs and Academic Services that serve young adults (ages 18-24) who are at critical stages in their lives – to not just survive, but to thrive! Many youth overcome rocky pasts and other barriers. Goodwill’s youth programs provide intensive services so that these individuals can create sustainable futures for themselves and their families by accepting the “hand up” to become a productive member of the workforce and connect to resources that can help them towards self-sufficiency, which in turn benefits our southern Arizona community.


  • Goodwill provides job training and services to people who have barriers to employment. These services focus on how to get a job and then how to get a better job. What are a few of these barriers? Listen to this podcast to learn more!
  • Indivdiuals ages 12 to 24 are the target population that Goodwill’s youth services support. Typically, 60 to 70% of the youth, engaged with Goodwill, are coming out of the foster care system and are 16 to 24 years of age.
  • Last year, over 1400 youth were served in Southern Arizona through Goodwill youth services.
  • “The only way to end poverty is to get people out of it.” Goodwill is part of the solution!
  • A number of the youth, that Goodwill serves, has not been provided the life leadership skills by the adults in their lives. The volunteers in the program engage with the youth in many ways – coaching/engaging them in their life goals and helping to determine a path of how to achieve those goals.
  • “A rising tide lifts all ships” – taking care of our youth strengthens the overall community and facilitates a healthy future for all.
  • 21% or about 13,000 youth are currently not connected to services in Tucson. That is an $8.5 billion dollar economic loss to our community over their lifetime.
  • A GED or credential can increase a person’s lifetime earnings by half a million dollars! Goodwill is helping youth accomplish a credential to have an opportunity in their job interviews – you need that degree to get in the door.