When Edward Rickenbach first joined Goodwill in 2009 as an assistant site leader, he was struggling with homelessness and severe depression — a diagnosis he had first received in college but learned would be a lifelong battle. In just 18 months, he worked hard and was promoted to site leader, where he was responsible for managing the store and all of its employees.
Anyone who has spent time at The Excel Center® in Clarksville during the last three years knows Ana Gonzalez, but not many know the full story behind her path to Goodwill. Ana is the director of the Young Learner’s Child Care (YLCC) in Clarksville, where her time is split between planning each day’s activities and putting those plans into action. Years before her time at Goodwill, Ana’s journey began in her small hometown in Mexico. She enjoyed her childhood, but as the region grew more complicated with heavy cartel presence, her family decided to move to the United States.
Audrey Land has been working for Goodwill of Central and Southern Indiana for the past four years and shows incredible drive and dedication — both individually and professionally — as she follows her career goals at Goodwill.
A word you hear often around The Excel Center Ⓡ, Goodwill’s high school for adults, is grit. Recently, I met a student who truly embodies this. John Thompson exudes passion into everything he does and preserves regardless of the challenges he may be experiencing, continuously inspiring those around him. I’m honored to introduce you to John and share his story.
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.