A Graduation Story

This time of year is always exciting for high school and college seniors.  They are brimming with excitement for what is in store next.  But for one family in our area this year was doublely exciting.  Philip and Gisela Romas watched on June 9th as their daughters Stephanie and Vanessa walked across the stage and received their diplomas.  The girls, who are several years apart, will now look to the future.  Vanessa will enter college in the fall.  Stephanie on the other hand has something different in mind.


Stephanie, who has been a part of Goodwill’s School to Work program for the past several years, will begin her job in just a few weeks.  A job that she already knows she will enjoy, and where she has experience.

Sisters Vanessa and Stephanie Romas pictured with their father Philip

Goodwill’s School to Work program is a partnership between Goodwill and local school systems.  The program allows high school students, between the ages of 16 and 22 with a disability, to safely explore the work world and prepare for the future.  Together school staff, parents, and Goodwill work to ensure that the program meets the needs of the student given their skill level and capabilites.  Students receive individual assistance in developing job and social skills needed for successful transition to the workplace.  In Stephanie’s case she worked at places such as Sam’s, Home Depot, and Food Lion.

Stephanie’s success in the program has resulted in her being hired at one of the worksites where she trained during her time at Goodwill.  She is looking forward to helping customers and being part of the workforce.

Stephanie and her family were recently featured in the Botetourt View.  You may read the article at

To all of the graduates in our area remember, as said best by Dr. Suess in the book Oh the Places You’ll Go:

“You have brains in your head.  You have feet in your shoes.  You can steer youself in any direction you choose.  You’re on your own.  And you know what you know.  You are the guy who’ll decide where to go.”

Good Luck!


One thought on “A Graduation Story

  1. Great story. I am truly proud of our School to Work program and the staff who are so dedicated to those we serve. They truly are the backbone to this successful program. Congratulations to Stephanie for her accomplishments, for graduating and now having a new job.

    Also the Romas family are to be commended for their support to all of their children. We at Goodwill believe that a holistic approach to working with our program participants creates the best results.

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