Sarah Verhines graduated from The Excel Center®, Goodwill’s high school for adults, in January 2020 at 26 years old while working full time and expecting her first child. Even though she was top 15 in her original high school class, circumstances beyond her control prevented her from graduating.
Merle Davidson first heard about Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana’s Nurse-Family PartnershipⓇ (NFP) from a friend who was enrolled in the program. At the time, Merle was pregnant with twin girls and was instructed that she’d need to be on bed rest at IU Methodist for the duration of her pregnancy. With Goodwill’s Nurse-Family Partnership providing a free, personal nurse that she could turn to for guidance, support and encouragement, Merle decided to enroll in the program; knowing that Nurse-Family Partnership would be a powerful ally for her and enable her to give her girls the best possible start in life.
In 2020, Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana, with funding from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, sponsored two doula certification courses in an effort to combat and reduce the Black morbidity and mortality rates of birthing people in Indiana; beginning with the community in Marion County.
Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana’s Nurse-Family PartnershipⓇ client Mikala Turner always felt inspired by this quote from Confucius—“It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop.” So inspired in fact, that it serves as her guiding principle throughout her life as she consistently sets and achieves her goals, overcomes tragedy and challenges and eventually discovers a path that allows her to provide support to others facing many of the same challenges she did.
Cynthia Coles has faced trauma and adversities throughout her life. In addition to being the sole provider for her young son and working full-time, Cynthia became the legal guardian of one of her nephews and assists with the care of her other nieces and nephews after the unexpected and tragic deaths of two of her sisters. In addition, Cynthia also provides stable housing for family members and friends who are experiencing homelessness. No matter the circumstance though, Cynthia always kept moving forward.
For Faith Oberting, becoming pregnant with her first child in 2016 brought many uncertainties, questions, and anxieties. Through word of mouth, she learned about Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana’s Nurse-Family Partnership, a program that provides a free personal nurse to moms less than 28 weeks pregnant with their first child, and decided to enroll for the extra support and guidance the program offers.
Traditionally, September is Infant Mortality Awareness Month. Infant mortality is defined as the death of a baby before their first birthday, while the infant mortality rate is the number of infant deaths for every 1,000 live births. Indiana has one of the highest infant mortality rates, ranking 47th among all states. For this reason, Governor Holcomb set the goal to be the “best in the Midwest” for this measure by 2024.