“I hope my story inspires people to keep going and never give up,” said Monica Nava Rosales, an associate at Goodwill’s Short Pump retail location. Her co-workers hosted a celebration in her honor on September 7, 2017, to recognize two major achievements: She became a naturalized United States citizen, and she earned a promotion to Lead Associate at Goodwill’s Ashland retail location.
Nava Rosales was born in Mexico. Her parents immigrated to the U.S. when she was 18 months old. “They came to this country for better job opportunities,” she said. In August at age 23, Nava Rosales joined her other siblings in earning U.S. citizenship. “This means a lot to me,” she said.
Her managers were part of the store’s celebration. “To see a person like Monica achieve these milestones, it’s emotional for me in a happy way,” said Walter Gangwer, Short Pump’s retail assistant manager. He was Nava Rosales’ mentor while she applied for a Goodwill management position. “Monica is extremely versatile, she can do anything in the store, and I’ve never heard her complain about anything,” he said.
Nava Rosales’ promotion to Lead Associate comes with a lot of responsibilities, including opening and closing a store, making cash deposits, delegating tasks to other associates and working with other managers on production and store operations.
“Monica has been here since day one when the Short Pump store opened in 2014,” said Dino Lavan, Short Pump’s retail operations manager. He praised Nava Rosales for voicing her interest in growing with Goodwill. Goodwill provided Nava Rosales with additional training opportunities, including classes on customer service and donated goods. “This is a very proud moment. It’s like watching one of your kids grow up,” Lavan said.
One of Goodwill’s core values is commitment, a trait that Lavan saw quickly in working with Nava Rosales. “Opportunities are going to come if you stay committed. Monica’s journey shows that an associate can start at the beginning and work their way to management,” he said.
Nava Rosales will miss her team at Short Pump, but she is excited for her new role in Ashland. “I started working for Goodwill three years ago and I never expected to come this far. I’m very excited and I’m very proud of myself,” she said.