Marissa Emerson

    Marissa Emerson

    Recent Posts

    Goodwill Guides give continual support to moms and toddlers

    [fa icon="calendar'] May 26, 2017 6:00:00 PM / by Marissa Emerson posted in Nurse-Family Partnership, goodwill guides

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    Nurse-Family Partnership participants graduate from the program when their child turns two years old and then have the option to continue engaging with Goodwill programs through the NFP Graduate Program. Visits with a nurse-home visitor stop, however the mom and family, if desired, may meet with a Goodwill Guide for ongoing support and resources focused on child development, school readiness, economic stability and self-sufficiency.

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    New mom gains resources from Nurse-Family Partnership

    [fa icon="calendar'] May 17, 2017 6:00:00 PM / by Marissa Emerson posted in Nurse-Family Partnership

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    When Taketria Reed first heard about Nurse-Family Partnership, she didn’t know what it was. What she did know was that she didn’t know anything about having a baby or being a mom. When she received the details about NFP, she decided to sign up. She and her NFP Nurse-Home Visitor Heidi Birkey clicked right away.

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    NANCY GREGORY | A Goodwill Success Story

    [fa icon="calendar'] Feb 22, 2017 12:00:00 PM / by Marissa Emerson posted in Employment, disability, Goodwill Commercial Services

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    Since 1997, Nancy has worked as a janitor at the Birch Bayh Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse. She is described as the heart of her team of nearly 20, remembering co-workers’ birthdays and coming in early every day to eat lunch with others before her shift starts.

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    Kelly Kaser | A Goodwill Success Story

    [fa icon="calendar'] Jan 30, 2017 3:32:22 PM / by Marissa Emerson posted in Employment, disability

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    Mansa Samlafo | A Goodwill & NFP Success Story

    [fa icon="calendar'] Dec 15, 2016 5:00:00 PM / by Marissa Emerson posted in Employment, Nurse-Family Partnership

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    Knowing only an uncle here, Mansa Samlafo, a native of Ghana, was selected for a United States green card while studying in the United Kingdom. Although surprised, Mansa accepted, wanting the opportunity to live and work in the States. Soon her cousin joined them. A couple years later, Mansa traveled to Ghana to marry her long-distance fiancee, Robert Darku. She returned to the U.S. pregnant, not quite knowing how to navigate her pregnancy here.

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    Ralph McClury | A Goodwill Success Story

    [fa icon="calendar'] Dec 2, 2016 8:00:00 AM / by Marissa Emerson posted in Employment, Goodwill Commercial Services

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    In the last five or so years, Ralph McClury has come full circle at Goodwill. Much has happened along the way, and his road was not easy. Ralph comes from humble beginnings, growing up in Kentucky with 17 siblings, working on the family farm and picking tobacco to make ends meet. He volunteered for the Air Force in 1973 after graduating high school, but chronic kidney issues led to an honorable discharge. Ralph then moved to Indianapolis and found employment as a security guard during the day and bused tables in a downtown restaurant at night. It was at this job that Ralph began a long and unhealthy relationship with alcohol. Though he lost those jobs, he managed to obtain employment as a maintenance man at his apartment complex for six years.

    “I got fired six or seven times due to drinking, but they would always re-hire me due to my skills as a handyman,” Ralph said. “But one day, they let me go for good.”

    Soon after, he lost his wife and kids as well. He continued a lifestyle of drinking and drug use for many years, moving back and forth between Indianapolis and Kentucky. In 1996, Ralph served 24 months in the penitentiary. He was released on parole in 1998, but soon fell to drugs and alcohol once again, living “on the run.” The law finally caught up with Ralph, and he was put on parole again, but this time, he finished parole and started to head down the right track.

    He was living with his girlfriend in Tennessee at the time, working as a tobacco picker when he was the victim of a farming accident in which his foot was crushed by a 3,000-lb. wagon. Ralph was bedridden for almost a year, unable to work due to this injury. In 2005, Ralph and his then-girlfriend welcomed their daughter, Lakin. Before Lakin turned one year old, her mother was arrested and still remains in prison today. Ralph attempted to raise his baby girl as a single father, but as drinking and drugs came back into Ralph’s life, he lost custody. He knew it was time to take control of his life and get back on the right path. Being a veteran, he reached out to the Hoosier Veterans Assistance Foundation (HVAF) as well as Goodwill for help. Due to a criminal history and his disability, Ralph was having a very difficult time finding employment.

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    Chelsea Armistead | A Goodwill Success Story

    [fa icon="calendar'] Nov 21, 2016 9:04:10 AM / by Marissa Emerson posted in Employment

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    Chelsea Armistead’s educational path veered off course in junior high when she was diagnosed with a learning disability. At the time, to qualify for an accommodation, a student had to be failing all subjects or courses. Chelsea was only failing two. Rather than have her daughter continue to struggle without assistance or fail all her courses, Chelsea’s mother decided to home school her. After about a year of home schooling, her parents became too busy to continue, so Chelsea taught herself to be a better reader and writer but had trouble with math.

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    James Wilson | A Goodwill Success Story

    [fa icon="calendar'] Nov 10, 2016 12:00:00 PM / by Marissa Emerson posted in Employment, success story

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    When James Wilson was released from prison in 2014, he had served 17 years for drug possession and conspiracy. His plan to successfully re-enter society hit a roadblock when employers weren’t interested in hiring him. At Goodwill, he found employment as well as the support to get a driver’s license, improve his reading skills and pursue additional education and job advancement.

    “Goodwill gave me a chance to show that I had changed my life and was rehabilitated,” James said. “Before that, no one would give me a chance — not even an interview. Goodwill gave me an opportunity to prove myself.”

    James accepted a job as a warehouse associate at one of Goodwill’s outlet stores. He quickly impressed his managers and co-workers with his dedicated work ethic and willingness to help others. When he began training new employees, including those with barriers similar to his own and those with disabilities, his skills as a talented trainer also emerged.
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    Dennis Schneider | 40+ Years of Service

    [fa icon="calendar'] Nov 4, 2016 12:00:00 AM / by Marissa Emerson posted in Employment, disability, Goodwill Commercial Services

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    Anymore it can be rare to find an employee with decades of working for one employer, but at Goodwill we have had the honor of a few of these gem employees. Dennis Schneider is one of them. He began his tenure with Goodwill in July 1975, when the programs and services we offered were different than today’s. First, he was in the Evaluation program and later hired by Industrial Services (now called Commercial Services). Originally from southern Indiana, Dennis initially lived in the organization’s dormitory (which was where The Excel Center Michigan St. is now) and then moved into the group home operated by Goodwill back then. After several years of group-home and supported-living services, he achieved the skills and support to live independently for most of his life.

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    Nidia Cuevas | A Nurse-Family Partnership Success Story

    [fa icon="calendar'] Oct 27, 2016 11:21:22 AM / by Marissa Emerson posted in Nurse-Family Partnership

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    In all her roles — student, wife, mother, daughter and employee — Nidia Cuevas is a BOSS. At age 21, she’s already accomplished several goals that she hadn’t thought she would like owning a home, pursuing a nursing degree and having a marriage and family.

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