Success stories at Goodwill are more than a stamp of “this story is done.” Instead, they acknowledge that the individual reached their goals, overcame their challenges and launched into their next chapter. Johnny Manson is just such a success story. He demonstrated tremendous growth in education, employment and financial goals.
Kamila Gulban is originally from Afghanistan. When she arrived in the United States nearly thirteen years ago, she struggled to find her place in this new world. Her inability to speak English, lack of a driver’s license and limited support system made it difficult to find employment. A family friend of Kamila’s was familiar with Goodwill and shared the mission along with the many resources that Goodwill provides its employees. This immediately caught her attention, and she applied for a job.
Dequan Bennett is a great example of someone making huge strides toward reaching their goals after being given the right tools and support. He just celebrated one year as a Flooring Installer Apprentice at Jack Laurie Group, one of Goodwill’s employment partners. At Jack Laurie Group he is learning the finer points of floor installation — which tools to use, what detailing cuts for what measurements, and more. Dequan is also taking control of his finances using tools he learned from working with his Goodwill Guide.
Jessica Posadas was finishing her senior year at Crispus Attucks High School when she learned she was pregnant with her son Byron, now one year old. She was one of only two students selected for a Simon Foundation Scholarship. Jessica kept her sights set on her goals and leveraged her support systems to ensure she stayed on track with her education.
Mohammed Alhamwi’s journey to The Excel Center®, Goodwill’s high school for adults, begins more than 6,000 miles away in his home country of Syria. Like many Syrians, his family was forced to flee as a result of the country’s civil war. As refugees in Jordan, they weren’t permitted to pursue employment or education which left them unable to build a life there. It seemed as if Mohammed’s family was in a perpetual limbo. They connected with Exodus Refugee Project and steadily worked for a more permanent placement. After several years in this limbo state, they received word that they were being placed in the U.S.
Jasmine Bible was 17 years old when she got her first job as a cashier at Goodwill. She struggled with finding reliable transportation, stable housing and dependable child care for her son with special needs. Eager to advance her career, Jasmine took advantage of every opportunity available to her through Goodwill.
In 1991, twin brothers Troy and Garrett Wilson were born three months premature, weighing barely more than two pounds each. Troy jokes that he’s older — having arrived five minutes earlier.
Grace is a typical 5-year-old who likes to play dress up and watch cartoons on YouTube. She’s healthy, has lots of friends and has hit every developmental milestone since infancy. She’s eager to start kindergarten. Each of these things is a small miracle given that her mother’s journey to Indianapolis began 20 years ago and more than 8,000 miles away.