Individuals who were recently incarcerated face a number of challenges reentering society. Primary among them are limited job opportunities.
When James Wilson was incarcerated in 1996, he was facing 42 years for conspiracy to deal drugs. He knew when he walked into the penitentiary at 37 years old that he needed to make changes in his life if he was going to turn things around. After 17 years, with a squeaky clean record as an inmate, Wilson appealed to the courts for an early release. His request was granted, and he was released – on house arrest.
Passed by Congress in 1990, The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a civil rights law that protects individuals from discrimination based on a disability. The ADA requires covered employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with a disability and imposes accessibility requirements on public accommodations.
Chrissy Wilkins was referred to Goodwill by Indiana's Vocational Rehabilitation Services program last year. She was born with Down syndrome and has worked for New Hope Services in Jeffersonville since graduating from high school in 1994. Chrissy was already taking swimming and art classes at the Clark County YMCA when she expressed an interest in taking on a housekeeping role there.
Born with cerebral palsy, Nathanial Gregory credits his successful high school experience in part to accommodations that were designed to help him overcome his educational barriers. Upon graduation, he enrolled in college – the first in his family to attend – and found himself in an unfamiliar academic setting with little knowledgeable guidance.
When Patrick Gnall first joined Goodwill in 2013, he was hired as an associate at the Fishers store. Having recently relocated from another state, he didn’t have a large support system or a professional credential. He experienced social anxiety and lacked direction for his future.
A native of Oklahoma, Ti’Sharon Thompson moved to Indiana to live with her aunt as a teenager. She discovered Indianapolis Metropolitan High School her junior year.
An eager learner, Andy Deubner came to Indianapolis Metropolitan High School because he was seeking a smaller student-to-teacher ratio that would facilitate greater involvement in his education and success.
The typical student at The Excel Center® – Goodwill’s high school for adult learners – is between 18-24 years old, but returning to school at the age of 47 isn’t the only characteristic that separates Brenda Leake from most of her classmates.