Rosa Barbarito sits and smiles at the camera.

I went into the Navy right out of high school, and I proudly served my country for three years.

I married, became pregnant and received an honorable discharge. Back in those days if you were on call when you got pregnant, that was the end of your career.

My civilian life took me to positions as a dental assistant in Puerto Rico, a daycare owner in New York, and finally, as a store manager for NY&Co, a retail clothing chain. While there, I realized working in the retail industry was for me.

After falling in love with Memphis during a 2005 visit, my husband and I moved there.  I answered an ad that said the company was looking for energetic and detail-oriented individuals for work in retail. I had no idea that the ad was for Goodwill®. All I knew was, that’s ME!

During a tour of the store, I decided I liked it and wanted to try it. I spent my first week at Goodwill training as a donor greeter with two other managers-in-training. The work was hard and I wasn’t sure if I would make it, but my store manager gave me a pep talk that helped me see how important this was.