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From teenage mom to business owner; Goodwill’s tuition-free high school for adults

(WISH Photo)

Katie Reigelsperger’s journey is a remarkable tale of resilience and determination. At just 13 years old, she faced the challenge of becoming a young mother without a support system. Her parents, battling substance abuse and alcoholism, withdrew her from school, leaving her to take on the responsibilities of motherhood while working in low-paying jobs. However, her life took a transformative turn when she discovered The Excel Center®, Goodwill’s tuition-free high school for adults.

With determination and hard work, Reigelsperger completed all the requirements to earn an Indiana Core 40 diploma and a pharmacy technician certification, graduating at the top of her class. Her success didn’t end there; she secured a job at Riverview Health as a pharmacy technician and rapidly climbed the ladder, eventually becoming a supervisor responsible for managing a team of pharmacy technicians.

Driven by her passion for teaching and her desire to give back, Katie returned to The Excel Center to teach a pharmacy technician certification course, the very program that had launched her career years earlier. Harnessing her leadership skills, she founded KLR Medical Certification Training School, a company with a mission to provide education and job placement opportunities for those facing career challenges, particularly individuals who have encountered similar life struggles.

In recognition of her remarkable achievements and her commitment to helping others, Katie Reigelsperger was honored with the prestigious 2023 Kenneth Shaw Graduate of the Year award by Goodwill Industries International. Her story stands as a testament to the transformative power of education and the impact of support systems like Goodwill’s career services programs, which empower individuals to overcome adversities and build successful futures.