Overcoming Barriers to employment with Goodwill Guides

    [fa icon="calendar'] Apr 18, 2017 11:30:00 AM / by Jenny Kakasuleff posted in Employment, disability, success story, goodwill guides

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    Guilherme "William" Sprowl | Graduate of Indianapolis Met Success Story

    [fa icon="calendar'] Apr 3, 2017 7:00:00 AM / by GoodwillIndy posted in success story, Indianapolis Metropolitan High School, Education

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    Born and raised in Brazil, Guilherme “William” Sprowl and his family moved to Indianapolis when he was 17. He admits, he’s always been interested in math and science, which is what brought him to Indianapolis Met. “My parents wanted me at a school that would really challenge me,” said William.

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    Lorena Salas | A Goodwill Success Story

    [fa icon="calendar'] Mar 28, 2017 7:00:00 PM / by Jenny Kakasuleff posted in Employment, disability, success story

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    Lorena Salas, Goodwill’s 2003 Achiever of the Year, is a valued associate who has consistently demonstrated excellence during her 17 year career with us. Despite living with blindness and cerebral palsy, Lorena has continued to persist and thrive.

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    Alia & Eden Schleppenbach | The Excel Center Success

    [fa icon="calendar'] Mar 13, 2017 5:00:00 PM / by Jennifer Rendant posted in success story, The Excel Center, Education

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    When Alia Schleppenbach enrolled at The Excel Center in Lafayette in April 2016, she had no idea her mother would pass away just a few months later.

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    Kristal Lebron | A Goodwill Success Story

    [fa icon="calendar'] Jan 14, 2017 9:00:00 AM / by GoodwillIndy posted in success story

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    As Kristal Lebron prepared to begin her senior year of high school, she found out she was pregnant. Kristal immediately enrolled in Goodwill’s Nurse-Family Partnership program.

    “I would recommend Nurse-Family Partnership,” Kristal said. “It teaches new moms everything they need to know about being pregnant and having a baby. I don’t know what I would do without Kasey, my nurse.”

    Kristal wanted to graduate high school before her baby was born, so Kasey helped her enroll at The Excel Center, Goodwill’s school for adult learners. A dedicated and determined student, Kristal graduated with her diploma and received her pharmacy tech certification within three months. During that time, Kristal also met regularly with Kasey to learn about prenatal health and how to prepare for a new baby. Kristal learned about taking care of herself, all while working on college courses and receiving top grades.

    “Kasey taught me a lot about my daughter,” Kristal said. “I know the importance of breastfeeding, safe sleep, home safety and using a car seat correctly.”

    Kristal gave birth to a healthy baby and accepted her first job at a pharmacy warehouse. She continues to meet with her nurse to learn how to foster her daughter’s development and is enrolled in classes at Ivy Tech studying criminal justice. She wants to become either a police officer or a probation officer after she finishes her associate’s degree.

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    Adrian Ovalle | Indianapolis Metropolitan High School Senior

    [fa icon="calendar'] Dec 31, 2016 10:00:00 AM / by Jennifer Rendant posted in success story, Indianapolis Metropolitan High School, Education

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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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    Patrick Gnall | A Goodwill Success Story

    [fa icon="calendar'] Oct 7, 2016 12:00:00 PM / by Eddie Rickenbach posted in Employment, success story

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    Patrick Gnall began his relationship with Goodwill as a wares producer at the Fishers store. Social anxiety limited his position and growth options there, so he was under-performing and not finding much satisfaction in his work. Patrick reached out to an expert adviser, called a Goodwill Guide, to whom each store's employees have access. Guides help our employees identify and set goals, increase their education, improve their finances, earn industry-recognized certifications for in-demand fields and more. When an employee is ready, Guides even help them find higher-wage jobs within and outside of Goodwill.

    A Guide worked with Patrick to identify his strengths and passions. The Guide visited him at home to get to know him better and learned he was currently living with his grandmother. His grandmother shared that she wanted to rest easy knowing her grandson would be able to support himself. His Goodwill Guide kept this consideration in mind and began exploring a better job fit with Patrick, soon learning he had a strong interest and skill with computers. 
    With support and encouragement from his Guide, Patrick took an education assessment test -- with an accommodation so that his social anxiety didn't affect his score. He did well and enrolled in a class to earn the CompTIA A+ certification, an entry-level computer certification for personal computer service technicians. After passing the class' test standards, he was eligible to take the official certification test. Before he did that, he decided to pursue an internship with Goodwill Education Initiatives (GEI). He interviewed for and earned the GEI data internship, where he continues to make great strides.
    Patrick is now a candidate to receive funding to attend the Eleven Fifty Academy, a non-profit organization, aiming to close the gap in the nation's technology skills. Attending this school would allow Patrick to grow his knowledge in coding, an in-demand skill set. Patrick and his Guide identified a career in coding as an ideal fit, combining his passion with a role that minimizes his challenges in communicating effectively. It would also greatly enhance his ability to earn an income that would allow him economic self-sufficient — a goal Goodwill holds for any employee. 

    After seeking out support from Goodwill Guides and putting in the effort to improve his circumstances, Patrick is now more encouraged and excited for his day-to-day work, his grandmother is far less worried and his Guide is happy Patrick set, met and continues to work on his goals and has found an employment fit. 
    If you have a passion for helping others find their career fit or have had an interest in working in a nonprofit job, explore our open positions
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    Heather Cardenas | A Goodwill and The Excel Center Success Story

    [fa icon="calendar'] Sep 15, 2016 8:00:00 PM / by Marissa Emerson posted in Employment, Nurse-Family Partnership, success story, The Excel Center

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    In the face of multiple challenges, Heather Cardenas struggled yet ultimately persevered and excelled. She ran away from home at 17 years old without earning her high school diploma. She endured and eventually escaped an abusive relationship, became a teen mother and faced barriers to earning a livable income and finding stable housing. Today, she works as the administrative assistant for Nurse-Family Partnership Northeast Region.

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    Derrick Powe | A Goodwill Success Story

    [fa icon="calendar'] Sep 10, 2016 10:00:00 AM / by GoodwillIndy posted in Employment, disability, success story

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    Derrick Powe has been a valued Goodwill employee for more than six years, beginning as a groundskeeper and now working as a janitor for Goodwill Commercial Services.

    Derrick displays an amazingly bright smile that illuminates any room he enters. He is a role model in the workplace. His coworkers and supervisors at the Major General Emmett J. Bean Federal Center [referred to as Building One] have nothing but great things to say about him. The quality inspector at Building One stated, simply, “I am a Derrick fan.”

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