Maly has a nurturing spirit and loves to care for people. Born in the Philippines to a U.S. sailor, Maly moved with her father to Cambodia as an infant. There she was raised primarily by an abusive stepmother. “In my culture, you have to be okay no matter how the parent abuses you. You have to be grateful with them for raising you. Americans tell us it’s okay to stand up for yourself, but we are still scared for the abuse.”
At age 16, Maly applied to relocate to the United States and moved with her stepmother in 1980. Because she did not speak English, she was unable to go to school at first. Luckily a relative of her stepmother was able to hire a tutor for her so she was eventually able to finish high school.
In 1984, Maly moved to Tacoma to pursue job opportunities. She worked at a number of jobs including as a patient records clerk at Madigan Army Hospital, a clerk at the Salvation Army store, a warehouse production worker, and as a translator. Then in 2006, Maly suffered a mild stroke which took away part of her memory. She found herself unable to work.
“I received a lot of help from the community.” Through a referral from the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Maly learned about Goodwill. “My DVR case manager told me about the Retail Skills class. I was so excited! I’ve been interested in this for so long because I want to work with customers. In my other jobs, I was not able to talk to the customers.”
At Goodwill, Maly received training on operating a cash register and customer service skills. “It’s a great program. They provide the support you need to go to work right away.”
Today Maly is completing a year-long internship at a Goodwill store. “The employees and managers are so friendly. I love to cook for them—it makes me feel good. I have no family to cook for, so I want to share it with my co-workers. They are my family.”
“I’m so grateful for Goodwill.”