Achieving Success through Perseverance

    [fa icon="calendar"] Jan 24, 2023 12:40:55 PM / by Jenny Kakasuleff

    Jenny Kakasuleff


    When Teresa Smith joined Goodwill Commercial Services in 2009, she was re-entering society and the workforce after a period of incarceration and a decade-long addiction to methamphetamine, which led to her losing custody of her son. Her history with the criminal justice system made it difficult to secure a job, but she approached the opportunity at Goodwill with a focus on improving her professional skills and rebuilding her life. 

    Teresa worked with Goodwill’s employee development and training team to get her driver’s license reinstated, then she focused on acquiring more in-demand skills. She is certified through Quality Management Systems’ ISO 9001 and 13485, in addition to earning multiple other manufacturing credentials. 

    “I knew that I needed to expand my skill-set to succeed,” Teresa said. “Goodwill has supported me throughout my growth with the organization.” 

    In 2020, with the help of Goodwill’s tuition reimbursement program, Teresa earned an associate degree in supply chain management from Ivy Tech, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude. She has also received several promotions, working her way up from an entry-level position to Supply Chain Manager, a role that has allowed her to significantly increase her wages and standard of living.

    “Teresa’s current role is integral to the success of our operations,” said Victor Mai, Vice President of Manufacturing at Goodwill. “Her hard work and skills have contributed to our growth with several key customers.” 

    Today, Teresa celebrates 14 years of sobriety and a career she is proud of. In 2022, she was honored with Goodwill's Employment Achievement Award. She also enjoys a wonderful relationship with her son. 

    “I used to be embarrassed of my past, but now I use it as a story to hopefully inspire someone else,” Teresa said.

    When you donate and shop at goodwill, you are empowering Hoosiers like Teresa to change their lives. Make a financial gift today at

    Topics: Employment, Success Story, Goodwill Commercial Services, Education, Criminal History, Former Addiction, Mission Awareness

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