William presenting a diploma to a graduate of The Excel Center.
We sat down with The Excel Center - Meadows School Director, William Durham, to discuss leadership at Goodwill. Along over a decade of tenure at Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana (he started in 2007 at Indianapolis Metropolitan High School), William has earned a bachelor’s degree from Morehouse College; an MPA in Nonprofit Management from DeVry University; and an MBA in Educational Leadership from Indiana State University.
Describe your current role at Goodwill.
I currently serve as the School Director for The Excel Center - Meadows. As School Director, I am responsible for the overall success of the school which includes the safety of staff and students; building and maintaining school culture; making sound budgetary decisions; working with Goodwill leadership to accomplish enrollment and graduation goals; and developing community partnerships to further advance the mission of The Excel Center.
William volunteering for a blood pressure check for The Excel Center's Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) course.
What is your favorite part about your work?
The favorite part of my work is relationship-building with students. Students often tell me that if they had a teacher or a principal like me while enrolled in high school originally, they would have never quit. While I am humbled by those statements, it also comes with a great deal of responsibility. I do my best to build positive relationships with every student, and I share my personal stories with them. By doing so, the students understand that if I can overcome - so can they!
William speaking with a student at The Excel Center while waiting for the bus to arrive.
What is the biggest challenge in your work?
The biggest challenge in my work is when life happens to our students, and they are faced with obstacles that are beyond my reach. Goodwill does a great job providing wraparound services for our students - such as life coaching, onsite child care, and transportation assistance - but there are some circumstances that are just out of our sphere of influence.
What would you tell someone who is thinking about a career at Goodwill?
For anyone thinking about a career at Goodwill, be sure you have a good understanding of the mission, which is to change lives every day by empowering people to increase their independence and reach their potential through education, health and employment.
Also, for me, the education work is the most important part of the mission. Whether it be obtaining a high school diploma, learning a skill or trade, participating in Nurse-Family Partnership® or any of the programs offered by Goodwill, the attainment of that knowledge will, in turn, provide opportunities for employment and lead to an overall healthier lifestyle.
Anything you would like to add that we missed?
I am a husband and father. My wife and daughter are both educators in Lawrence Township, and my son is a freshman at Kentucky State University. In my spare time, I am also an Associate Pastor at Christ Church Apostolic; serving my second term on the Indiana State Board of Education; volunteering my time with 100 Black Men of Indianapolis; and am a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.
One of the best decisions I ever made was to attend Morehouse College. Morehouse College is an all-male historically black college or university located in Atlanta. Aside from the phenomenal education I received at Morehouse College, the school also prepared me for career success and encouraged community involvement by exposing me to a wide variety of culturally relevant events and speaker series.
We would like to thank William Durham for his great work and leadership at Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana!