Byron Pillow Jr., 23, was born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana. As a teenager who struggled with multiple learning disabilities, school wasn't a priority for Pillow, despite having support from his family.
Born in Mexico, Imelda Lopez lived far away from her local high school, and due to transportation barriers, she never attended. She moved to the United States as a teenager, was married at the age of 16, had her first child at 17, and then four more after that. To help support her family, she always worked. She was employed at a factory for 10 years, but the work became too taxing as she grew older.
Imagine being denied a basic education unless you pledge allegiance to political beliefs that you do not ascribe to. This is what Rizan Hajji Mohamed faced when he was forced to flee his home country of Syria.
Nicole Castro learned to be independent at a very young age. As a child, her parents faced severe legal trouble. In an effort to remain undiscovered, they pulled Nicole out of school at just seven years old. At 16, after years of instability and moving from place to place to avoid the authorities, Nicole decided to strike out on her own. While her peers were planning for prom and school sporting events, she was preparing to start a new life. Soon after, she met and married her now-husband, and they started a family together.
It’s not every day that you meet someone who can say they are still in love with their career after more than two-and-a-half decades. Then again, it’s not every day that you meet someone like Felicia Harrison.
At 19 years old, I am proud to say that I graduated from high school this year as the salutatorian of my class. Originally from Venezuela, I earned an education at home that did not transfer to the United States. Upon learning about the education opportunities right here in Noblesville, I was thrilled to learn about The Excel Center®, a free high school for adults owned and operated by Goodwill, which led me to the happiest year of my life so far!
Goodwill proudly celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month, a time to honor the innumerable achievements and contributions of Latinx Americans.