When Claire was 19 years old, she made a mistake that put a blemish on her criminal background. While applying for a job last year, she was denied because of that record.

Without the means to hire an attorney to have her record expunged, Claire didn’t have many options. That’s when she found out about Goodwill Industries of Kentucky’s Expungement Program. Goodwill partners with statewide legal aid agencies to help inform formerly justice-involved individuals about their options and expunge their records – all free of charge.

“It is a very welcoming environment to those who may have some background in the legal field and those who are having their first experience with the legal field,” Claire said.

After meeting with a legal professional through a Goodwill virtual expungement clinic, Claire was referred to Legal Aid of the Bluegrass, which “swiftly and competently represented” her during the process. She had her record expunged and now, she’s gainfully employed in her career field of choice.

“I was able to move forward with the criminal background process with the job I was preparing to receive,” she said. “I was just able to move on with my life.”

Claire said it was only a matter of months in between meeting with legal aid professionals at the clinic and being hired at her new job.

“This program is exactly what’s needed for those who feel they are in a situation where they don’t have the financial backing to move forward,” she said. “People make mistakes. What I now pass forward to my children who are young adults is, ‘Don’t make a 19-year-old mistake that will hurt your 30-year-old self.’

“I appreciate getting a second chance.”