Celebrating Life with Goodwill’s Chief Mission and Education Officer

    [fa icon="calendar"] Jun 4, 2024 3:00:00 PM / by Noelle Gray

    Noelle Gray

    Every first Sunday in June is National Cancer Survivors Day®, a time to celebrate life, increase public awareness and call for more resources and further research. Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana is humbled to share the cancer journeys of the many leaders contributing to our mission of changing lives through education, employment and health.

    Betsy Delgado, Goodwill’s chief mission and education officer, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2013.


    “I was kind of in disbelief,” said Betsy. “I had a huge amount of fear – more for my children than myself because they were very young.”

    After being diagnosed, her family members immediately offered support, finding resources and attending doctor appointments. At the same time, Betsy was a part of the effort to open The Excel Center®, Goodwill’s high school for adults, in four locations. Goodwill also leaned into her needs and became a part of her support system. 

    “I feel like Goodwill helped me to survive,” said Betsy. “As a survivor, my identity is linked to Goodwill.”

    In Betsy’s current role, she supports Goodwill’s education and mission initiatives and their leaders, removing barriers, sharing resources and ensuring that each program can achieve growth. All in all, her goal is to ensure initiatives bring all the necessary components to provide a comprehensive model to the families they serve.

    Betsy enjoys the work, finding it challenging and motivating. She also enjoys seeing the people Goodwill serves take advantage of the education, health and employment opportunities to build a future for themselves.

    “I feel very lucky and honored,” said Betsy. “It’s a dream come true to do work that is meaningful and work with people who are super talented and headed in the same direction.”

    While battling cancer, Betsy learned a lot about taking care of her health and valuing relationships. However, her biggest barrier during this time was herself and her own mindset.

    “It’s very hard to focus and get out of your own head,” said Betsy. “I had to figure out a path forward.”

    Betsy poured herself into her family and her work at Goodwill – and Goodwill reciprocated her efforts. Team members wore red, her favorite color, to meetings, cooked meals for her and participated in an ovarian cancer run alongside her.

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    When Betsy’s hair began to fall out from chemotherapy treatment, her colleagues even helped her shave her head.

    “They made time for me,” said Betsy. “It was what I needed at that point in my treatment.”

    Her journey with cancer taught Betsy so much about her health, relationships and what she values in life. Even now, living as a survivor teaches a new lesson every day.

    “I feel very lucky,” said Betsy. “I value a lot of things every day. I value a snowy day as much as a sunny day. When I get too overwhelmed, I say to myself, ‘You're still here. You got another day, and that's pretty cool.’”

    Topics: The Excel Center, Education, Mission Awareness, Leadership Spotlight

    Noelle Gray

    Written by Noelle Gray

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