2019 Annual Award Recipients
Learn more about current and past award recipients, download our Annual Report, view photos from the Awards Breakfast and more.
2019 Education Achievement Award
Mohammed Alhamwi, 2018 Excel Center graduate
The Education Achievement Award recognizes a current student or 2018 graduate of The Excel Center who removed a barrier or has shown significant progress and accomplishment overcoming barriers to advance his or her education. Mohammed was just 18 years old when his family fled the crisis in Syria. They spent three years at a refugee camp before receiving permanent placement in Indianapolis. Within months of arriving, Mohammed enrolled at The Excel Center with zero credits and a language barrier. Undeterred, he worked hard, earning his diploma in less than two years, along with a Certified Clinical Medical Assistant credential. A Goodwill Guide helped him apply to Ivy Tech, where he is currently pursuing a nursing degree. He also worked with Goodwill’s TalentSource which eventually led to his current position as a medical assistant at Eskenazi Health.
Award sponsored by Browning
Working-age Hoosiers lack a high school diploma
Excel Center graduates since 2011
2019 Employment Achievement Award
Angel Beyersdorfer, Team Leader 2 at Retail Outlet – South
The Employment Achievement Award recognizes a current or past employee who has removed a barrier or shown significant progress and accomplishment overcoming barriers to secure employment and/or worked to advance to a middle-skill job or higher wage. Angel struggled with drug addiction for nearly a decade, but it intensified after she lost several close family members. She couldn’t keep a job and lost her home as well as her children. She also ended up incarcerated. When Angel was first hired as a donation attendant at Goodwill in mid-2016, she was five months sober. She was able to secure her own housing, got her driver’s license reinstated and has since been reunited with her children. She utilized Goodwill Guides to pursue her current role as a Team Leader 2, where she manages up to 40 employees in a single shift.
Award sponsored by JPMorgan Chase
Currently employed at Goodwill
Placed into jobs by Goodwill in 2018
2019 Health Achievement Award
India Daye, 2018 Nurse-Family Partnership graduate
The Health Achievement Award recognizes a graduate of Goodwill’s Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) who has illustrated an outstanding commitment to participating in the program and achieving a healthy pregnancy. India was a high school student when she enrolled in Nurse-Family Partnership in 2016. With no stable housing, she returned to work just two weeks after giving birth to her daughter, Nyla. Her NFP nurse helped her apply for a low-income apartment, but she still struggled to keep up with school as she balanced being a young, single mother with helping to support her family. She enrolled at The Excel Center for additional educational support. In February 2018, she became the first in her immediate family to graduate high school. She plans to enroll at the Walker Career Center in spring 2019 for a Certified Clinical Medical Assistant program.
Award sponsored by Strategic Capital Partners
Indiana's infant mortality ranking
Families served by Nurse-Family Partnership since 2011
2019 Indianapolis Metropolitan High School Outstanding Student Achievement Award
Daesha Cottrell, Indianapolis Metropolitan High School senior
The Indianapolis Metropolitan High School Outstanding Student Achievement Award recognizes a student who excels at upholding the PUMA Promise to be: professional, unstoppable, motivated, accountable and supportive. Daesha is currently tied with another student for the highest G.P.A. in her class at 3.85. She taught herself American Sign Language and helped launch a course at the school to teach other students. Daesha is involved in a variety of extracurricular activities at school, including volleyball, basketball and working at Puma Sips, the school’s student-run coffee shop. She also serves as an Indy Met tour guide and represented the school in Washington, D.C. at the Close Up civic engagement camp. She was a Lilly Scholarship nominee and plans to attend college, though she has not yet decided which.
of Indianapolis Met graduates enroll in college
of Indianapolis Met students are eligible for free or reduced lunch
2019 Career Service Award
Michael Lovell, Forklift Driver at Retail Outlet – West
In his 40 years of service at Goodwill, Michael Lovell has fulfilled a number of roles, first in maintenance and helping to move furniture, then as a baler and later, a forklift driver. He has also worked at a number of locations, beginning at the corporate office, when Commercial Services operated there, then Stout Field, after operations moved, then Tremont Street, where operations are now located. Michael is currently a forklift driver at Goodwill’s outlet store on the west side of Indianapolis. He’s a reliable, dedicated and highly respected employee.
2019 Retail Site of the Year Award
Goodwill’s Retail Site of the Year is selected based on its ability to succeed in its twin objectives of meeting production goals, while providing opportunities to people with barriers to employment. With more than 70 retail stores in central and southern Indiana, it’s quite an accomplishment to receive this award. The Scottsburg retail store’s leadership encourages second chances, hiring people who otherwise have difficulty finding a job. Many of these hires used their experience at Goodwill to secure better-paying jobs, and others have worked their way up at Goodwill. Scottsburg views each new hire as a potential leader, offering them support to grow, even if that includes helping them secure housing, food or transportation.
2019 Connections Award
Major Health Partners
The Connections Award recognizes a partner organization that has supported Goodwill’s programs and mission. Goodwill’s partnership with Major Health Partners marries the health care provider’s need for a steady pipeline of experienced medical assistants with The Excel Center’s need for externship opportunities for students who earn a Certified Clinical Medical Assistant credential. Major Health Partners has worked hard to create a successful CCMA program, dedicating its own experienced medical assistant to lead it and ensuring students are prepared for a career. Curriculum changes as a result of this partnership are being shared across The Excel Center network. The first two cohorts yielded an average rate of pay of $14.08 per hour upon completion.