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Horizon Goodwill in Hagerstown changed award winner's life

May 08, 2008|By HEATHER KEELS

HAGERSTOWN - Before entering Horizon Goodwill's job training program, Van Rexroth's job application skills were limited.

"I never even knew what a résumé was," said Rexroth, 36, of Cumberland, Md.

But over the course of a work experience program and a series of job readiness training sessions, Rexroth absorbed the material so eagerly that he was hired permanently by his first off-site temp position, an ad insertion job at the Cumberland Times-News.

"He was motivated to make a change in his life," said job retention specialist Stephanie Ritchie, who served as Rexroth's case manager. "He took advantage of every single thing we offered."

His achievements were recognized Wednesday when he was named Horizon Goodwill's "Graduate of the Year" at the organization's "Power of Work" awards at Cortland Mansion.

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Rexroth was among three program participants and seven partner businesses and organizations honored at the program by Horizon Goodwill, which provides services to help disabled or disadvantaged people overcome barriers to employment.

Local honorees included NBC 25, which received the Massey Roe Community Service Award, and the IRS's Martinsburg (W.Va.) Computing Center, which contracts Goodwill Horizon workers through the Ability One Program.

Former Horizon Goodwill board of directors member N. Linn Hendershot, who died May 1, was honored. The organization had planned to present him with a print of the Norman Rockwell painting "The Paycheck," which depicts a man in a wheelchair speeding home with a Goodwill paycheck, executive director Craig MacLean said.

"It is our great sorrow that he is not here this evening to receive this," MacLean said, calling Hendershot "a man who left a mark on this community."

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