All Laura needed was a second chance.

After being released from prison in November of 2019, she wasn’t sure she’d ever get one. As a result of her addiction, she lost nearly everything she had, including custody of her children.

That was before she got a job at the Hikes Point Goodwill in Louisville, just one month after her release. Three months later, she was promoted to team lead. Three months after that, she was promoted to floating assistant manager.

“My managers there really pushed me to be great,” she said. “And ever since, I’ve done nothing but improve. I’ve overcome my addiction, I’ve got my kids, I’ve moved up in the company. I don’t plan on going anywhere. My life’s just really different, and it really is all thanks to Goodwill.”

Now, she’s a permanent assistant manager at our Northfield store. And she’s made big strides in her personal life, too. She’s two years sober, she’s married and her two children are getting accustomed to living with her after she regained custody.

“They’re finally getting to the point where they’ve seen consistency, they have a routine, nothing’s changing,” she said. “My son, he’s been drug through the mud with me, and he loves me anyways. … He sees me doing good, and he wants to do good.”

She said the support of her Goodwill family has made all the difference, since the majority of her colleagues have gone through similar struggles. When she was working at Hikes Point, she ran into more legal trouble. But the Hikes Point staff supported her every step of the way and even wrote her letters of support.

“Most of us here are taking that second chance,” she said, “so they’re coming through the door with a support system off the jump. They’re not just coming through the door with bosses and surroundings that don’t understand what you’re going through.”

The second chance we provided, on top of Laura’s drive to be great, has led her to self-sufficiency. She said she tells her staff to write their own story.

“That’s my main thing for our new employees,” she said, “I tell them to come in and take advantage of the opportunities. You know, ‘I have a story, and you can have a story, too. A couple years later, this could be you – where you want to be in life and happy doing that, all because someone took a chance in you, that second chance.’”