Ask any instructor or coach at The Excel Center® Shadeland about David Ramirez, and their face will quickly light up.
On December 6, 2018, history was made. The Excel Center®, Goodwill’s high school for adults, hosted their very first Hour of Code at several of its campuses. At the West 34th Street location, around 30 students took time out of their class schedule to learn computer programming— for most of them, it was their first time coding.
Kamila Gulban is originally from Afghanistan. When she arrived in the United States nearly thirteen years ago, she struggled to find her place in this new world. Her inability to speak English, lack of a driver’s license and limited support system made it difficult to find employment. A family friend of Kamila’s was familiar with Goodwill and shared the mission along with the many resources that Goodwill provides its employees. This immediately caught her attention, and she applied for a job.
Dequan Bennett is a great example of someone making huge strides toward reaching their goals after being given the right tools and support. He just celebrated one year as a Flooring Installer Apprentice at Jack Laurie Group, one of Goodwill’s employment partners. At Jack Laurie Group he is learning the finer points of floor installation — which tools to use, what detailing cuts for what measurements, and more. Dequan is also taking control of his finances using tools he learned from working with his Goodwill Guide.
Mohammed Alhamwi’s journey to The Excel Center®, Goodwill’s high school for adults, begins more than 6,000 miles away in his home country of Syria. Like many Syrians, his family was forced to flee as a result of the country’s civil war. As refugees in Jordan, they weren’t permitted to pursue employment or education which left them unable to build a life there. It seemed as if Mohammed’s family was in a perpetual limbo. They connected with Exodus Refugee Project and steadily worked for a more permanent placement. After several years in this limbo state, they received word that they were being placed in the U.S.
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.
Older workers are a growing part of the 21st century labor force, and they bring a wealth of knowledge, experience and maturity to the workplace. To celebrate their contributions, Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana is observing National Employ Older Workers Week from September 24-28, 2018.
Eskenazi Health is a champion of Goodwill’s NFP, evidenced by the fact that they made 851 referrals in 2017! Our partnership complements their own Healthy Families initiative, a free, community-based program that supports Marion County families with newborns.