The power of second chances: Jessie’s success story

“I have been involved with drugs and alcohol my whole life,” Jessie said. “As a baby, there was whiskey in my bottle.”

Jessie has served installments in prison – totaling 26 years – for drug-related charges before being released on parole. He transitioned to Second Hope Ministries, a sober living home, where he connected with Brad Roberts.

“Brad’s main mission was to connect everyone with Goodwill,” Jessie explained.

Jessie began employment at our 2nd Chance Outlet store in Louisville in December 2021 as a material handler and was quickly promoted to team lead and then assistant manager.

“At first, I was skeptical, but now I am so thankful for it. I could go home to Hopkinsville and legally make double what I make at Goodwill, but that road would lead right back to prison, and I wouldn’t get the benefits I have at Goodwill,” Jessie explained. “I also wouldn’t have someone like Troy [Senior Operations Manager] to take me under his wing and make me the leader I need to be. If it wasn’t for Troy, I wouldn’t be in the position I am in today.”

Jessie is currently enrolled in our Work and Learn program, where Goodwill pays for his schooling at Jefferson Community & Technical College. He will graduate with a certificate in welding this June, tuition fully covered!

Jessie is also part of Goodwill’s housing program, where Goodwill covers rent for six months so residents can save money to obtain independent housing.

“Goodwill has done more for me than anybody ever has, and for being 46 years old, that is saying a lot.”

When asked what he is proudest of, Jessie replied, “It took 46 years to hear my dad tell me he is proud of me. I have to thank Second Hope Ministries. They are my support group. I don’t know where I would be without them. And I have to thank Troy for taking me in and teaching me.”

When you shop or donate at Goodwill, you help provide second chances for people like Jessie. Thank you for your support!