In 2015, Georgina Palma-Santos was pregnant with her first child at the age of 16. Her traditional high school was not designed to support students with children. Seeking other options, Georgina enrolled in an online school but felt like the lack of structure was difficult to manage while raising a newborn. When she heard about The Excel Center®, Goodwill’s high school for adults, she was relieved to have a school with a childcare option.
“I thought that was amazing and definitely would allow me to focus solely on my schoolwork and be at ease that my boys would be taken care of,” Georgina said.
Once she graduated from The Excel Center-Noblesville in 2019, Georgina worked with her Goodwill Guide, — a career and life coach — to work towards her goal of working as a medical assistant. Despite the increased health risk due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Georgina knew a career in healthcare would allow her to follow her passions and provide for her two sons.
Her Guide helped her enroll in a medical assisting course through a local hospital. After passing the course and earning her CCMA certification, Georgina was referred to TalentSource™, Goodwill’s job placement team, who connected her directly with a recruiter at IU Health. After an impressive interview, Georgina was hired as a medical assistant making over $16/hr.
Five years ago, Georgina was without a high school diploma and unsure about her future. Today, her determination and commitment led her to a career where she can comfortably support herself and her sons.
Established in 2014, the Goodwill Guides program helps Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana employees, students and program participants identify and set goals, increase their educational attainment, improve their finances, earn job certifications for in-demand fields and more. When participants are ready, Guides help participants find higher-wage jobs , both within and outside of the Goodwill organization.