When Genesis Ortiz withdrew from high school during her senior year, she never imagined that she’d be pursuing a teaching degree nearly 10 years later.
As Daesha Cottrell nears the end of her senior year at Indianapolis Metropolitan High School, she is raising the bar for students who follow in her footsteps, exemplifying leadership, while preparing for college and beyond.
Angel Beyersdorfer struggled with drug addiction for a decade before she finally hit rock bottom. She lost her home, car and driver’s license and couldn’t hold down a job.
As a small city in rural, southern Indiana (population <7,000), Scottsburg has the same challenges larger cities have but fewer resources available to address them. Of the 12% of Scottsburg residents who didn’t graduate from high school, an astonishing 44% over the age of 25 live below poverty level. Other common barriers include criminal history, addiction and homelessness.
Greg Perry beamed with pride as he stood at the podium at his graduation from Goodwill’s New Beginnings program, recounting the experiences that led him to prison as well as those that changed his life. New Beginnings is a six-month, re-entry program that helps those who were recently incarcerated adjust to society after their release.
India Daye was a senior in high school when she first learned she was pregnant. She lacked stable housing and worked part-time at a fast-food restaurant through her pregnancy to help support her family.
Erica Webb’s first major barrier to achieving independence was becoming a mother at 17 years old. Although she successfully graduated from high school, a series of setbacks negatively impacted her ability to provide for her growing family.
Martha Moraga worked hard to raise her four children while earning a high school diploma at The Excel Center®, Goodwill’s high school for adults. She strives to be a role model for all of her children - with the goal of becoming a medical assistant - and her teachers believe she already sets a great example.