Brian Russelburg’s journey from a United States Post Office worker to Goodwill’s art appraiser wasn’t the most direct, but when it comes to your dream career, it’s better late than never.
At the age of 5, when most children are still mastering the art of doodling, Brian was drawing cartoon characters. At 10 years old, he became enthralled with a magazine his father gave him that was filled with iconic images from World War II and ended up building his own dark room for developing photos. His talents took him to the Herron School of Art in 1975, but his direction soon changed.
“The United States Postal Service offered me $11 an hour to come work for them, which was equivalent to $30 an hour today,” Brian said. “I was young and thinking about my future. It was an offer I couldn’t refuse.”
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Student with barriers finds success at The Excel Center
Although Courtney Person earned a certificate of completion in high school, a learning disability prevented her from receiving a diploma. Courtney studied dental careers at the J. Everett Light Career Center as a high school student, but without a diploma, she could not pursue her plan to become a dental hygienist. It was a devastating blow.
When Chris Pack was preparing to enter high school, his mother, Judy, was concerned that the high school in their neighborhood was not an ideal environment for him. Another parent recommended Indianapolis Metropolitan High School, prompting Judy and Chris to take a tour.
“I like that Indianapolis Met has smaller classes, “ Judy said. “It’s a family-oriented atmosphere.”
“Three lessons that I learned in school are that George Washington fought Cornwallis in the Battle of Charleston, not to take things for granted and never give up.”
Dianna Tolentino was referred to Goodwill’s Nurse-Family Partnership® program by her OB in 2013.
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.
“If I do it, then you have to do it, too.” These were the last words Courtney Messer had said to her mom, Misty Weikel, before they both enrolled at The Excel Center in August of 2013.