Pernell Lamons is the Dock Lead at Goodwill Houston's Greenpoint Outlet Location. His peers described him as hard-working, reliable, and always there to lend a helping hand. He joined Goodwill Houston after spending 27 years in prison.
When he went to prison at the age of 24, he spent his time trying to stay on the right path and not let prison change him. Not wanting to mess up his chances, he took the opportunity to go back to school and earn his GED. While furthering his education, he started participating in programs to get his trade school certificates.
During his time in prison, Pernell learned that most of his immediate family passed away, and his younger brother went to jail. While waiting for parole, his last living sister, whom he was going to stay with, passed the week before Christmas. After being released from prison, he had only his nephew to stay with and support him. As he was searching for jobs, he remembered that the Cashmere Gardens Community Center had a program for people who were formerly incarcerated, offering forklift certifications.
Following completing the program, he went to the state to try to start his own transportation business but hit a snag when he needed to get his driver's license. His counselor then told him about Goodwill and the transportation connections they had. During his interview, he told the interviewer, "I'll take any job available." Seeing his drive and willingness to work his way up, she hired him as a Dock Worker. After working at Goodwill for six months, his management team noticed his hard work and offered him a management position.
Today, Pernell likes to spend his time fishing and barbecuing, and he hopes to one day work in transportation. Pernell credits his current position with staying positive and disciplined, as well as Goodwill for helping him grow professionally and thrive. He's proud to tell his story and says, "You have to be positive and willing to put your ego aside. You have to be willing to help somebody else, too. — as the old saying goes, you have to pay it forward."