In 2013, a very closed-in 23-year-old girl named Katie Mosley came to the Habitat Store in Everett to volunteer. She wouldn’t meet your eyes and often didn’t answer when spoken to.
“Shy doesn’t even come close to how I would describe it,” Retail Director Roger Johnson said. She was timid.
Katie had previously gone through Goodwill’s eight week cashier training, but was having difficulty finding a job. She started volunteering at Habitat working in the back receiving and pricing items. She eventually mentioned that she wanted to cashier to Kelli Henderson, Habitat Store Everett manager.
“We told her she wasn’t ready to cashier,” Roger said.
He and Kelli gave Katie the opportunity to work near the cash register greeting people so she could work up to cashiering. It was a struggle at first, Roger said. She worked hard at meeting people’s eyes and saying “hello” as they walked in the door and she got better at engaging the customers.
“It was difficult at first,” Katie said. “Before, I didn’t have much interaction with people and I didn’t feel comfortable or have much experience, but it was something I needed to do, so I did it.”
Eventually, Katie was given the opportunity to try working the till and it was all uphill from there, Roger said. With some coaching, she learned quickly.
“Kelli was always positive and encouraging and Katie worked very hard,” Roger said.
With a little help, Katie was able to use the skills and capabilities she already had. With the strengthening of her social skills, she became a fantastic cashier.
“I got more experience with customers, more experience on the register,” Katie said. “It helped me become more confident in my abilities.”
She became the primary cashier at the store for quite some time. Katie was hired at Goodwill to cashier in April 2015, but she continues to volunteer at Habitat on weekends.
“The Habitat staff were very nice and supportive, which was very helpful,” Katie said. “They gave me the opportunity to work retail.”