Michael Levario, Former Goodwill Store Associate,
Current Social Worker at Tucson Medical Center, Geropsychiatric Center
When Michael Levario started working for Goodwill in May 2013, he wasn’t quite sure how he wanted to pursue his interest in social work and mental health, but at the end of his journey with Goodwill, he found himself where he felt he always wanted to be.
After a short stint with the Navy, Michael Levario returned home to Tucson. He had been unemployed for quite some time and was encouraged by a friend to apply for a job at the Goodwill store on Speedway Blvd.
Soon after, he got involved with Goodwill’s Employee Development Program (EDP) after Michael Sicurello, EDP Manager introduced the program at a store meeting. EDP offers Goodwill employees individualized services to help individuals with career advancement, educational goals, financial literacy as well as provide support during crises.
Michael said, “[Michael Sicurello] helped me out with a lot of stuff, even as far as if I wanted to bounce something off…an idea, whether it was career-wise or even if it was just help with taxes, or even if it was something personal…something to bounce off of somebody…he would make himself available to me and I know he’s made himself available to others as well.”
Michael completed a Career Action Plan to develop his pathway to become a social worker. While working full-time with Goodwill, Michael was able to complete his prerequisites at Pima Community College and attended Arizona State University satellite classes. The tuition reimbursement benefit and Quarterly Education Grants helped him to reduce the amount of money that had to come out of his pocket for his educational expenses. “Managers were really awesome as far as working with me with my school schedule and my work schedule,” Michael stated.
On the last year of his Bachelor’s program, Michael decided to focus solely on his education. While he left his job at Goodwill, Michael was able to earn his Bachelor’s degree while interning at Tucson Medical Center’s Geropsychiatric Center. He was able to complete an accelerated Master’s degree in one year as he interned with Tucson Medical Center’s Emergency Room. He then became a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW). “Goodwill was definitely a huge support system for me, being able to pursue my goals.”
Michael has been working on his professional development since Goodwill. Michael is now a Social Worker at Tucson Medical Center’s Geropsychiatric Unit, assisting elders with different mental health challenges, like dementia, depression, anxiety, cognitive difficulties, and other behavioral difficulties. He is also working to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) which he hopes to complete in 2020.
Michael also met his future wife at Goodwill! Juggling school, work and a new relationship, “It was a hectic journey but definitely worthwhile.” Michael and his wife Erica have since had a little girl who was just promoted from preschool the day we sat down with Michael!
Learn more about Michael’s journey and his advice for people pursuing their goals at www.GoodwillSouthernAZ.org/50Years.
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