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.
Pency Engmawii grew up with 11 siblings in a small Burmese village where education was difficult to acquire without wealth. Education is also approached differently in her home country.
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.
Born in California, Leticia Ibarra finished middle school before her family relocated to Mexico.
Coming to the United States from a different country can present many obstacles but also opportunities. For Dior Thioune, 30, one of her opportunities was education.
Lisa Sledge's first client, in 2011, was a 19-year-old, married Burmese woman referred to Nurse-Family Partnership by a Southside high school. Lisa immediately decided an honest approach was best, "Forgive my ignorance," she said, "but I don't know much about your culture."