Goodwill Week Karl

How Karl Found His Path to Independence

“Make sure you yell ‘Cart!’ Make sure you’re being safe!”

You can count on Karl Kubovec to make sure his teammates are being safe at work.

After an early-life diagnosis with an intellectual disability created significant learning challenges for Karl, these challenges never diminished his desire and drive to succeed. After graduating high school, Karl moved into an apartment on his own and attended a culinary course, hoping to put that training to work, but with no success. In 1995, Goodwill gave Karl a “clean state” working as a custodian at the U.S. Air Force Academy (USAFA) in Colorado Springs, CO.

Karl eventually transferred into the commercial laundry team at the USAFA, where he is now one of their longest tenured employees! He has mastered the art of folding and ironing linens, and ensuring that himself and his teammates are continuing to be safe as they work.

Goodwill also helped Karl transition into a host home where he has a home-care assistant that helps him manage his finances, personal health, and keeps him company. Karl now also has a loving host family and housemates that make each day more fun.

At work, Karl has made safety a top priority—wearing personal protective equipment, making sure team members are calling out “cart” when transporting heavy loads of laundry, and following all general safety protocols.

Karl’s work provides mission-essential services to military installations and its personnel, allowing Karl to feel immensely proud and patriotic in his daily duties. While Karl is unable to get a driver’s license, this has not curbed his enthusiasm for all things vehicle-related! In his free time, Karl also enjoys going on walks, traveling, cooking on the grill with his housemates, and his adorable dog, Paco. And of course, he is always keeping his eye out for a girlfriend who will appreciate his easy-going personality, and the art at which he can fold clothes!

Karl was the proud recipient of the 2021 Independence Award most recently at Goodwill of Colorado’s Annual Dinner, where he expressed immense pride at being given such an amazing award for all of his hard work.

Goodwill of Colorado’s business solutions, including our commercial laundry, which employs 40 individuals with significant disabilities, including Karl, provide meaningful work and a paycheck, helping individuals achieve greater independence and lead purposeful lives. In 2021, Goodwill served over 124,000 Coloradans in the community, and placed over 1,300 individuals into community employment opportunities. 

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