Angel Beyersdorfer struggled with drug addiction for a decade before she finally hit rock bottom. She lost her home, car and driver’s license and couldn’t hold down a job.
As a small city in rural, southern Indiana (population <7,000), Scottsburg has the same challenges larger cities have but fewer resources available to address them. Of the 12% of Scottsburg residents who didn’t graduate from high school, an astonishing 44% over the age of 25 live below poverty level. Other common barriers include criminal history, addiction and homelessness.
Greg Perry beamed with pride as he stood at the podium at his graduation from Goodwill’s New Beginnings program, recounting the experiences that led him to prison as well as those that changed his life. New Beginnings is a six-month, re-entry program that helps those who were recently incarcerated adjust to society after their release.
India Daye was a senior in high school when she first learned she was pregnant. She lacked stable housing and worked part-time at a fast-food restaurant through her pregnancy to help support her family.
First-time mom Arian Baker, 33, learned about Goodwill’s Nurse-Family Partnership through her obstetrician. As a medical student she knew that maternal and infant mortality rates are much higher among African-American women. She worked with her nurse to educate herself about the changes that were happening to her body and managing stress that could adversely affect her developing baby.
It takes an extraordinary kind of teacher to become a part of the Indianapolis Metropolitan High School family. As a best-fit high school for students experiencing circumstances that may present a barrier to education, Indy Met staff must possess empathy, patience and — most of all — heart.
With 14 campuses across Indiana, The Excel Center® — Goodwill’s high school for adults — is filled with many highly-qualified instructors, coaches, special education coordinators, paraprofessionals and additional support staff that are dedicated to leading students toward success. Mark Van Dyk, a humanities instructor at The Excel Center on Michigan St. in Indianapolis, is a shining example of the passion and commitment that the staff of each school possesses.
Every year during the first full week of May, Goodwill® organizations across the United States and Canada celebrate Goodwill Industries Week to highlight the defining principle of our mission — to change lives. As part of a tradition going back 117 years, Goodwill works with people experiencing barriers to employment, helping them secure a job, increase their education and access resources critical to achieving independence.
Jessica Monroe left high school when she was 16 years old. Originally from Muncie, Indiana, she dealt with several barriers at school, including a lack of support from peers.
Erica Webb’s first major barrier to achieving independence was becoming a mother at 17 years old. Although she successfully graduated from high school, a series of setbacks negatively impacted her ability to provide for her growing family.