Meet Ana

Goodwill Excel Center Graduate

“The faculty and staff were amazing at…Excel. They always gave me confidence and always believed in me.”

Ana was attending middle school like any other girl her age when she began a battle with severe depression and anxiety. “I got extremely depressed, even to the point of being suicidal,” said Ana. “I just jumped out [of school]; I couldn’t be around crowds. I just figured I couldn’t do it anymore.” Ana dropped out of high school and never returned.

The adoption of her little sister and brother really forced Ana to reevaluate her decision. “My sister, she lived a pretty rough life from when she was born to the age of six. I just wanted her to know that even though we come from backgrounds that are not necessarily the best situations in life that we can change it around. Yes, I did drop out of school, and it was a big mistake, but you can change things around in your life.”

So, almost ten years later, Ana decided to go back and get her high school diploma at The Goodwill Excel Center. “The faculty and staff were amazing at…Excel. They always gave me confidence and always believed in me,” said Ana. “I stand by The Goodwill Excel Center, and I will support it forever.” She completed her high school education in a year and a half and graduated as Class Valedictorian in 2019.

Ana’s family inspired her to continue her educational journey. She completed the Nursing Assistant training at the Goodwill Career & Technical Academy, and because of her experience and assistance, Ana and her family were able to keep her grandmother at home with the family versus a nursing home, which was a huge hope for the family. “I can help my mom out now, and it makes me feel really good that we can all be around my grandma, know what’s going on, and understand her feelings better.”

One of the most important things that came out of her experiences with Goodwill is realizing she wants to pursue a profession that helps others. Her next step is to continue her post-secondary education and advance her career in healthcare.

Ana says she has come a long way but knows she still has work to do to turn her life around. “I’m halfway there and I need to finish but right now, I’m in a good place.” And she credits with Goodwill for empowering her to get there, “I just really appreciated them for being in my life.”