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.
Rocky Nolen is a Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana employee who currently works as part of the janitorial team at the Army Reserves on 96th street in Indianapolis. As a member of the Indiana Army Reserves from 1978-1986, this role is perfect for him. Rocky has overcome several obstacles since the start of his journey with Goodwill, including drug addiction, experiencing homelessness and hospitalization due to a coma. Today though, Rocky is able to support a healthy, beautiful family thanks to his drive to overcome life’s challenges and a training program he learned about in 2005.
Robert Ford and his two children all work with Goodwill’s retail division at different locations. His adopted son, Avery Ford, works as a Sales Floor Associate and his step-daughter, Kelsie Carter, works as a Team Lead.
Bobetta Wright was one of Indiana’s 7% of teenage girls to get pregnant while she was in high school. Due to circumstances surrounding her pregnancy, Bobetta was told to leave her high school and never returned to finish. Without a high school diploma, Bobetta and her husband were unable to find employment, leaving them unable to secure stable housing. Her family bounced around from place to place for several years, even having to spend one winter out in a tent.
Madison Stevenson, 20, has big goals that include earning a PhD and pursuing a career in engineering. Yet, there was a point in time that Madison believed she might not earn a high school diploma.
Ashleigh Schneck started at Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana’s Clarksville location in December 2017. She was four months sober after 21 years of living in addiction. She had voluntarily moved into a sober living house for women the month before and was starting over in every aspect of her life.
When Teresa Smith joined Goodwill Commercial Services in 2009, she was re-entering society and the workforce after a period of incarceration. Her history with the criminal justice system made it difficult to secure a job, but she approached the opportunity at Goodwill with a focus on improving her professional skills and rebuilding her life.
I met Audrey McPherson a little over four years ago when she was working as a textile producer at our retail location in Castleton. Audrey had recently been released from incarceration and felt her options were limited. She did not see a future for herself and was unable to visualize a path forward.
Lakia Osborne recently became The Excel Center® Regional Director, responsible for the general school operation, performance, academic oversight and direction of our Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana adult high school network. Having worked at Goodwill for nearly a decade, Lakia is well-positioned for success in her new role, as she has a vast amount of expertise of The Excel Center model, previously serving in key positions including school director, project manager and life coach. Read on to learn more about this inspiring leader.
Through education, Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana is focused on supporting students on a pathway towards better career prospects that lead to economic self-sufficiency and have a multigenerational impact on families.