Amber Copley is a proud high school graduate at the age of 23. She initially dropped out of school when she was a junior in high school, at the age of 16, due to emotional and financial difficulties.
From Homeless to Business Owner, Meet Keanna Murphy
Keanna Murphy, 29, is a mother of four children living in Indianapolis. She is also a professional baker who owns her own business. With plans to earn a college degree, Keanna seems to have it all figured out. However, just a decade ago, her life looked quite different than it does today.
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.
Child Care Makes a Difference at Indianapolis Met, Meet Symone Maxey
Sandra Martinez was a freshman in high school when she learned she was pregnant. She struggled to keep up with her course work and was eventually forced to withdraw. Fortunately, Sandra has a solid support system that is committed to ensuring she earns her diploma and succeeds as a parent.
Novah Norris Campbell was a junior in high school when she learned she was pregnant. At 14 weeks, she enrolled in Goodwill’s Nurse-Family Partnership, a program that pairs first-time, low-income moms with a registered nurse who helps them achieve a healthy pregnancy and provide competent care for their babies.
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.
Marion Thompson beamed with pride as her daughter, Ti’Sharon Thompson, was honored with Indianapolis Metropolitan High School’s Outstanding Student Achievement Award in 2017. Ti’Sharon also earned a scholarship from Lilly Endowment Inc., which covers her full tuition for all four years of college. She is currently attending Indiana University.
For National Dropout Awareness Month, Goodwill's Indianapolis Metropolitan High School is promoting awareness of the challenges students face that may lead to them leaving school before they graduate. This challenge is so great, Lebron James, an NBA all-star, recently created a new school in Ohio called I Promise, designed to help at-risk youths. Indianapolis Metropolitan High School has been serving students since 2004, providing the additional support, guidance and wraparound services that are necessary for success.
Getting an education does not come easy for everyone. Situations that we cannot control, such as family illness or relocating for employment, impact many individuals’ academic progress.
In 2010, Goodwill opened The Excel Center®, a public charter school for adults who want to earn an Indiana Core 40 diploma. The Excel Center is designed to address educational barriers and to accelerate coursework and career readiness through academic and life coaching, free onsite child care for young children, transportation assistance, flexible scheduling, accelerated (8-week) terms and year-round classes.
Students enrolled at The Excel Center can also earn free college credits and industry-recognized certifications.
In June 2018, Mercedes Cantrell, 22, graduated from The Excel Center in Shelbyville with a high school diploma. A mother to a young son, Cantrell now looks toward the future with hope. Read the speech she gave during her commencement ceremony below to learn more about her story.