Goodwill Mission Coach Benjamin Hutto began his journey with Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana in 2016 when he enrolled at The Excel Center®, Goodwill’s high school for adults. Previously homeschooled, Ben struggled to focus, which he later learned was related to undiagnosed attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and autism spectrum disorder. But The Excel Center in Kokomo empowered him to earn the credits he needed to graduate at an accelerated pace.
Ben continued his education by earning an associate degree from Ivy Tech Community College in 2018, and his bachelor's degree from Indiana University Kokomo the following year. Then, in 2020, the pandemic happened.
Due to his laser focus on his education, Ben had no work history, and he experienced barriers to finding a job after graduating. His Goodwill Mission Coach encouraged him to apply for a leadership position at a local Goodwill store, which led to the next step of his Goodwill journey as a Retail Team Lead. Although Ben was later promoted, he strived to do something beyond the scope of retail. When the opportunity to become a mission coach emerged, he jumped at the chance and applied.
“I know it sounds cliche, but I really enjoy helping others,” said Ben. “I feel that, given my path at Goodwill, I’m uniquely qualified to help students and employees make those connections.”
In 2022, Ben was officially welcomed as the newest Goodwill Mission Coach. He now supports people with similar experiences, who have barriers to employment or education and can use a helping hand to reach their goals. As a mission coach, he connects Goodwill’s employees and students to a number of resources, like Goodwill New Beginnings, a reentry program for individuals previously involved in the criminal justice system, and The Excel Center – the first step in his own Goodwill journey.
“I really appreciate the chances Goodwill gave me,” said Ben. “They were willing to take a risk on me knowing that risks don’t always pay off. There are many companies that won’t do that, so when I’m working with our employees and students, I share my own journey to give them hope about what they can achieve at Goodwill.”
All Goodwill employees and students have access to a free mission coach. If you need a job or a high school diploma, take the next step today! Visit goodwillindy.org/careers to apply for a job or excelcenter.org to enroll as a student.