The Joy of Success: Joya’s Story

Joya Baker

Hi, my name is Georgia Baker, and my daughter’s name is Joya. She is our only girl, and she has three big brothers, 14, 13 and 8.

In 2011, Goodwill Easterseals asked me to work in the child development center, and I was happy to help. Before I knew it, I was asked to direct the entire child development center. After we found out we were expecting Joya, she ended up being born at 34 weeks. When we got her home with all those boys, we noticed she didn’t really respond to loud noises, and she was having some issues with her breathing. The doctors discovered she had hearing loss in one ear, which also makes it harder for her to balance.

That’s when I figured out why God put me at Goodwill Easterseals. Not only did I have great support through my pregnancy and a loss before Joya was born, but we had Early Intervention right here in the building. Kaki, the physical therapist, is amazing. Joya and I are learning a little sign language, too, and all the speech suggestions are working. Joya has made so much progress; you wouldn’t even know she has a hearing loss. Goodwill Easterseals is a safe haven, and a blessing to my family. The Early Intervention team makes Joya feel safe enough to try new things. I am right where I belong. We can reach out and grab that future!