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Goodwill Achievers Central and Southern Indiana

2017 Annual Award Recipients


Watch Annual Awards videos, read recipient summaries, download the Annual Report and more.

2017 Achiever of the Year

Jeremiah Davis, Greenwood Goodwill Outlet

The Achiever of the Year is someone who has shown significant progress and accomplishment in achieving independence and self-sufficiency, and who also represents Goodwill’s efforts in employment, education or health– the equal pillars of our mission. Jeremiah Davis was previously incarcerated and had difficulty securing employment before discovering Goodwill. He is a testament in perseverance, earning several promotions for his extraordinary work ethic. Jeremiah is currently the manager of the Goodwill Outlet in Greenwood, where he is responsible for 80 employees—75% of whom have one or more barriers to employment. He has made great strides in his own growth, but he also pays it forward through his mentorship of other employees, directly supporting the mission of Goodwill.

Goodwill employees in central & southern Indiana


Goodwill employees with a barrier to employment


Indiana's three-year recidivism rate

2017 Education Achievement Award

Brenda Leake, Michigan Street Excel Center

The Education Achievement Award recognizes a current student or graduate of The Excel Center who has shown significant progress overcoming a barrier to advance their education. The likelihood of returning to high school begins to decline significantly once an individual enters their third decade of life, but returning to school at the age of 47 isn’t the only characteristic that separates Brenda Leake from most of her classmates. Born with cerebral palsy, Brenda was told she would never be able to drive, have children or graduate from high school. Despite these predictions, she’s been driving for 25 years and has two sons, ages 20 and 17. She graduated from The Excel Center in January 2017, and continues to be a productive member of the e-commerce team at the Avon Goodwill, where she has worked for three years.


Hoosiers with disabilities ages 21-64 who lack a high school diploma

Industry-recognized certifications earned at The Excel Center since 2010

Graduates of The Excel Center since 2010

2017 Health Achievement Award

Dominique Daye, Nurse-Family Partnership graduate, Excel Center graduate

The Health Achievement Award recognizes a Nurse-Family Partnership Indiana graduate who has illustrated an outstanding commitment to participating in the program and achieving a healthy pregnancy. Although a teenager at the time, when Dominique Daye learned she was pregnant, her priorities became her son and planning for their future. She faced obstacles, but advocated fiercely for herself and her son to overcome them, including traveling four-hours round trip to The Excel Center to earn a high school diploma. Now a graduate, she is living independently and earning more from her employer.

Families served by Nurse-Family Partnership since 2011


Nurse-Family Partnership graduates who increased their education level in 2016

Estimated dollar return on investment for every Nurse-Family Partnership dollar spent in Indiana

Indianapolis Metropolitan High School Outstanding Student Achievement Award Ti’Sharon Thompson

Indianapolis Metropolitan High School Outstanding Student Achievement Award

Ti’Sharon Thompson

An accomplished student, Ti’Sharon Thompson’s teachers quickly recognized her work ethic and natural abilities. With guidance from the leadership team at the school, Ti’Sharon was awarded a Lilly Endowment Scholarship, which will pay her full tuition for four years at Indiana University, plus an additional $900 per year for books and supplies. Inspired by her twin nephews who were born at low birth weights, she plans to study biochemistry and become a pediatrician.


Indianapolis Met students eligible for free or reduced lunch

Indianapolis Met graduates since opening in 2008

$ increase in median annual earnings with a diploma

2017 Barbara Robinson Memorial Award

Jerry Ray

The Barbara Robinson Memorial Award is presented to a Goodwill Commercial Services employee who has demonstrated a substantial desire to overcome barriers. Jerry Ray faced significant challenges created by severe dyslexia before working with Goodwill’s Disability Services in 2012. He received high praises from the VA Hospital where he was initially placed performing janitorial duties. When that contract ended, Jerry transitioned to Goodwill Commercial Services, assembling medical testing kits for Covance. His production numbers were exceptionally high, so he was quickly recruited to train other employees, and eventually advanced to a new role preparing orders. Jerry’s methods were so efficient that they became the process standard, yielding the fastest, highest quality outcomes.

2017 Barbara Robinson Memorial Award Jerry Ray


Goodwill employees with a disability

Job placements through Goodwill in 2016

$ difference in median annual household income between Hoosiers with a disability and those without

2017 Connections Award IU Health

2017 Connections Award

IU Health

The Connections Award recognizes a partner organization that has supported Goodwill’s programs and mission. IU Health has been multi-dimensional in their commitment to our organization. They have provided direct employment based on recommendations from Goodwill’s job placement services, as well as contract assembly work for Goodwill Commercial Services employees. IU Health has also provided funding to Nurse-Family Partnership and New Beginnings, Goodwill’s six-month reentry program that helps individuals who were recently incarcerated transition back into society. These gifts directly impacted dozens of families.

Read the joint press release

2017 Retail Site of the Year Award

Carey Road, Westfield

The Retail Site of the Year Award recognizes the Goodwill retail site that has made the most progress in furthering our organization’s mission to help individuals overcome barriers through education, health and employment. With 79 total retail sites in central and southern Indiana, it’s quite an accomplishment to receive this award. The leadership at the Carey Road store in Westfield exemplifies Goodwill’s mission in a number of ways, including actively encouraging employees who want to earn a diploma to enroll at The Excel Center, our high school for adult learners, and working around their schedule to help them be successful. Carey Road also helps connect employees with specialized services outside of Goodwill, enabling them to thrive in the workplace. Their commitment to their employees resulted in the second highest number of promotions in the company.

Read the press release

2017 Retail Site of the Year Award Carey Road, Westfield
2017 Career Service Award Susan Sturges

2017 Career Service Award

Susan Sturges, 40 years

In 1977, Susan Sturges was referred to Goodwill by Vocational Rehabilitation Services, a state program that helps connect individuals with job training. After an evaluation, Goodwill placed Susan into a housekeeping role at the Birch Bayh Federal Building and the Minton-Capehart Federal Building where she provided services for more than 30 years. Susan continues to be a valued employee at Goodwill Commercial Services on Tremont Street as an assembler in our Covance area.