Mehgan was in nursing school until she entered a relationship with a heroin user. At that time, she had two children. Her next four children were born in active addiction.
“Being pregnant doesn’t make you not a drug addict,” Mehgan tearfully admitted.
She described her journey as “dark,” but with a hand up from Goodwill, she now knows “what a normal life can look like.”
Mehgan was in active addiction for a decade – in and out of incarceration, while her mother cared for her children. In 2018, she began treatment and returned home in September 2020.
Unsure of her next steps, her uncle informed her that Goodwill was a second-chance employer. Ten days later, she was hired as a full-time cashier.
The following 60 days resulted in two promotions, all the way to an assistant manager. Now, as of 2022, she is the store manager at the Jeffersontown location in Louisville.
“I have six kids, and I have years of making up to do,” Mehgan explained. “Without Goodwill, I probably would have relapsed. But they taught me that I can be somebody new. I can start over. I can function sober.”
Mehgan’s path to a better life didn’t stop at finding employment. With the help of a Goodwill career coach, she was able to obtain a vehicle through our Goodwill Cars to Work program.
“It’s such an amazing program. When I came out of prison, I didn’t have anything at all,” she said. “When (my store manager) hired me, I had jail shoes on and a white T-shirt. It just felt really good to be able to work my way up.”
In addition to being approved for a loan and purchasing a vehicle, Mehgan is financially independent and lives on her own, which she says gives her self-worth. She often says it takes five years to repair what you do in five minutes. Thanks to Goodwill, she has turned her life around in a short time.
“I feel like the universe knew exactly what I needed at that time,” she said. “My dream was to be a flight nurse. And (at Goodwill), I still get to help people every day by giving them a job, giving them a chance or giving them extra hours.”
Four years ago, when sitting in a jail cell, Mehgan’s children wouldn’t even pick up her phone call. Now, she takes them on vacation and is repairing those relationships step by step.
“Goodwill — getting employment was the foundation for that,” she said. “It seemed like it was meant to be. I always tell everybody, ‘If you can hang in there, if you can show up with a good attitude, you can learn any job.'”