One Career Is Not Enough

Daniel says, “Creating inclusive workplaces is one of the best parts that I enjoy about working at Goodwill.”
Daniel swimming on the left and Daniel posing in front of a microphone on the right smiling.

Daniel is a multi-talented Special Olympics athlete who thrives in several careers. He is an athlete leader who travels widely as a Sargent Shriver International Global Messenger and spokesperson for Special Olympics.

"What I like about working for Goodwill is how everyone cares about the mission and how Goodwill includes those of us with special needs. Creating inclusive workplaces is one of the best parts that I enjoy about working at Goodwill."
Daniel Smrokowski

He also works at the Goodwill Store & Donation Center in Westchester, Il. Obviously, Daniel is not someone who shies away from a challenge! Being born prematurely led to some developmental challenges, including a speech impediment and learning disabilities, but that did not stop him from accomplishing more goals than most people could dream of.

Special Chronicles

Ten years ago, Daniel felt there were people in the mainstream community who didn’t understand what individuals with disabilities were capable of. This inspired him to create Special Chronicles, a non-profit media platform that produces podcasts and news pieces that give respect and a voice to people with special needs. The podcast has listeners in over 80 countries, has been nominated for multiple media awards, and has helped to build understanding, acceptance and inclusion for those with special needs.

Journalist & Advocate

Daniel is a 2012 graduate of Roosevelt University Chicago, where he was presented with the Matthew Freeman Award for Social Justice in the spring of 2012 for his work in promoting awareness of disabilities. He was also a recipient of the Headline Club’s prestigious Les Brownlee Scholarship for Journalism.

Athlete & Ambassador

Since becoming involved with Special Olympics at age 14, Daniel is now an accomplished swimmer as well as a Sargent Shriver International Global Messenger. This past March, he traveled to Abu Dhabi for the 2019 Special Olympics World Games, where he spoke at several events and hosted the Abu Dhabi Daily Show, a podcast on specialolympics.org.

Daniel is one of many people on the Goodwill team who have helped everyone grow and support inclusion, as well as respect for those with disabilities.

NOTE: October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), when workplaces across the country celebrate the contributions of workers with disabilities. For more than 100 years, Goodwill has been helping people navigate the challenges of seeking employment -- including lack of education or work experience, disabilities, or other factors that make it difficult for someone to gain employment and build a career. This story is adapted from the Goodwill Industries newsletter.

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