At first glance, Madison is your average Ohio high school junior. But it does not take long to notice that she is so much more. Madison has an inviting and warming personality, full of energy and wonder, and it's all wrapped up with sharp humor and intelligence. What really separates Madison from her peers is that she has discovered her dream job; a truly passionate desire for an obtainable career to strive for. For Madison, that profession is nursing [and someday, CNP or Doctor].

Madison first came to Goodwill a couple of years ago as a participant in the Summer Youth Program. She was a very different person back then, struggling with mental health issues and unsure of her future and what path to take. Madison fought to find her identity; to fit in. She was attaining good grades but was far from achieving the academic excellence of which she was capable.

Through the Summer Youth Program and her continuation into CCMEP (Comprehensive Case Management and Employment Program funded by the Wayne County Department of Job and Family Services), Madison learned valuable skills through online courses, workshops and paid work experiences. Along the way she took driver's education courses and obtained her license. Through one-on-one case management, Madison began to tackle some of her barriers and started to flourish, both personally and academically, as she became excited about her future.

Madison is currently a junior at the Wayne County Schools Career Center and is part of the Practical Nursing program. She has already obtained certifications that will help her to succeed in the workforce and when she graduates next year, she will be able to take her Licensed Practical Nursing exam. Madison's career goals do not stop there! She is also enrolling in classes at the University of Akron Wayne College campus to begin pursuing a degree in nursing (during her senior year), which she hopes to continue directly after graduation. There is no stopping Madison. Success is now a part of her future.

"I got to learn how an actual workplace works, how to be professional, how to make a resume. Goodwill helped prepare me for my future and future jobs." -Madison Conrad

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At MOCA House I have mad friends in places where I never would have looked. They have excepted me and helped me through so many emotional battles. It’s nice to know you are never alone!

MOCA House is a place where people cultivate hope and compassion. It’s a place where I learned to see a future and start rebuilding my life with the help of my peers. Truly a great place.

MOCA brought out creativity that was within me. There’s a lot of support at MOCA and gave me tools to help to deal with what life throws at us and how to manage life issues.

MOCA House has helped me a lot by giving me the support that I need. I have learned so much about my mental illness. The stuff that I learned has helped me in my recovery. If it wasn’t for MOCA House I would be in a very bad state of mind and not even know why. I wouldn’t have the knowledge of mental illness if it wasn’t for MOCA House. I would refer anybody that has a mental illness or wants to learn about how to take care of someone with a mental illness to come to NAMI/MOCA.

I would like to share what MOCA has done for me. First, I want to share my background. I was diagnosed with bipolar I disorder two years ago. I kept to myself for one and a half years. I am now finding the support I need from MOCA House. I started out small by attending the Monday night support group. I then gradually started coming on Fridays for lunch. It has provided me a place to share my love for baking by bringing a dessert to share with everyone. The staff and peers all enjoy lunch together along with playing games. The joy I have received from MOCA has given me a purpose to continue in my recovery and to help others in sharing my story.

With help from MOCA House I have learned some new and better coping skills. I am learning how to communicate with others in a healthy way. I get the human contact that I need. I have been very busy getting better and MOCA has helped me immensely.

MOCA House has been and still is an extremely positive experience for me. I attend support groups each week. All of the people at MOCA House truly care about you. I’ve met many new friends and I trust everyone. I have been able to socialize and be interactive with other people. It’s a place where you can be open and not be judged by anyone.

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