In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week (May 2 - 6), Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana celebrates its staff of over 360 education professionals, including teachers, guidance coaches and administrators throughout the entire month.
Since 1951, Goodwill® organizations throughout the United States and Canada have come together to recognize Goodwill Industries Week and highlight the defining principle of our mission — to change lives. For 120 years, the Goodwill network has worked with people experiencing barriers to employment by helping them secure a job, increase their education and access resources critical to achieving independence.
Indianapolis Metropolitan High School is a best-fit school for teenage students experiencing circumstances that may present a barrier to education. In 2020, those circumstances included a pandemic that entirely uprooted education across the globe, but our students adapted and persevered, and our faculty did an amazing job at ensuring we could continue to provide high-quality, rigorous instruction and individualized support.
There are more than 447,450,000 working-age Hoosiers who lack a high school diploma. Prior to The Excel Center, Goodwill’s unique high school for adults, there were few options for people like Dontre Smith who wanted to earn one.
Meet Dakota McLaughlin. Dakota is a proud graduate of The Excel Center® and is working towards earning a Master’s degree in Social Work. Just a few years ago, however, he was in a very different situation.
In summer 2019, Goodwill’s Excel Center partnered with Tom Wood and Ford Motor Company to implement an Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification program at our Shadeland and University Heights locations. Tom Woods’ sponsorship of The Excel Center provides students with access to the curriculum at no cost; in return, Tom Wood has access to a pipeline of qualified service technicians—each with a path to a well-paying career.
The next three years have the potential to be among the most important in our more than 90-year history. Although the COVID-19 pandemic created obstacles, Goodwill remained vigilant, working with our employees, board members and other supporters to make decisions that have put us in a place of strength. We are excited to deliver a Strategic Plan that expands and leverages existing opportunities, while also identifying, exploring and developing new ones.
Lakeisha Lewis, 36, is a hardworking, caring mother to her three children. In fact, throughout her entire life, she has often been responsible for the well-being of others.
How many people can say they found their “dream job” right out of college? Sofia Shine is one of those rare individuals. A Ball State 2021 graduate, Sofia started her career in July as a Family Empowerment Coach at Indianapolis Metropolitan High School, Goodwill’s best-fit school for students who are experiencing barriers to education.