Car means fresh start for local family

By Bill Althaus

Monica Goodyear knew the key to success was getting an education in a business that had growth opportunities. 

The longtime Independence resident, a single mother of four children, also knew that if she was going to gain that key to success, she would need a key to a new automobile, as her car recently suffered a major problem that was not worth repairing.

Clyde McQueen, the president and CEO of the Full Employment Council opens the door to Monica Goodyear’s new automobile. After career training through a scholarship from the Full Employment Council, the Independence resident, holding her 5-month old son Zachiary, was gifted a car through the National Auto Body Council’s Recycled Rides program. Looking on is Jared Nicholson, the manager of the Bob Sight body shop that refurbished her new automobile.

“I didn’t know what I was going to do,” Goodyear said. “My mom works six days a week at the Waffle House in Liberty, and on her only day off she was coming to pick me and my children to go grocery shopping and to go to doctor appointments.”

“I felt so bad, because she didn’t have any time to do the things she needed for herself.”

That’s when the Full Employment Council provided those keys to success – via International Technology training – and the keys to a new car.

After completing training for in-demand careers through a scholarship from the FEC, Goodyear was gifted a car through the National Auto Body Council’s Recycled Rides program. 

The car was donated by Farmers Insurance and refurbished by Bob Sight Ford. Goodyear was identified as a worthy recipient for this program by the FEC of Kansas City.

“We will do whatever we can to help someone help themselves,” said FEC president and CEO Clyde McQueen, who presented Goodyear the keys to her new car.

“This is the best of Kansas City. The partnerships we have really let us make a difference in the lives of these people who want to work and become successful heads of their households."

Goodyear attended the FEC Independence location, where she used her scholarship to pursue her career goals in information technology training. She graduated from SnapIT Solutions Training Institute, with a certification in Foundations of Quality Assurance.

“I was scared and a little bit intimidated when I walked into the Full Employment Council the first time, but all I saw were smiling faces and people who cared about me – and I mean, they really did care about me,” Goodyear said.

“ And I learned more than just technology. I learned a lot of life skills, too. It’s been life-changing.”

She was excited to begin looking for a new job, but she lived in an area in Independence that had limited access to public transportation.

“I was talking to someone at the Full Employment Council about my car situation,” she said. “I was taking my kids home from school, and the steering went out.”

“Somehow, I managed to get it home, but a mechanic told me it would be $800 to get it fixed. Well, I didn’t have $800 and the car wasn’t worth $800, so I had to depend on my amazing mother to help out.”

Her conversation at FEC started the ball rolling, and not longer after the initial visit with the FEC staff, she received a life-changing phone call.

“I got a call and they told me I won a car,” she said, laughing. “I thought they were kidding, but they told me that sometimes they are able to get someone in need of a car, and I was that person.”

“It was like a miracle from God. This has been a very difficult year for me and my family, but I never stopped praying, and those prayers have been answered.”

Jared Nicholson, the manager of the body shop who oversaw the work to refurbish her 2015 Ford Taurus, was thrilled to see Goodyear drive away in her new vehicle.

“There were a lot of people who really stepped up and helped with this one,” Nicholson said. “It’s great to be on this side of it, because something as simple as a car can change the course of someone’s life.”

In addition to the car, Goodyear received a $250 gift card from the Black Professionals of Olathe, Kan.

Goodyear received her new car at Bob Sight Ford in Lee’s Summit on December 9.

“I haven’t found a job yet, but now that I have my car nothing is going to stop me,” Goodyear said. “I can’t thank everyone enough for making this dream come true for me and my family.”

For more information on the FEC, call 816-471-2330.