Story Behind the Stores: Mehgan now knows “what a normal life can look like”

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 2021. 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, and she now works as an assistant manager.

“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.”

For Mehgan, working alongside people who understand her challenging past has been pivotal.

“Everyone here respects me. There is no judgment,” she explained. “Knowing that I could be open about my past mistakes has been therapeutic for me.”

For Mehgan, her colleague and friend Ashley has played a large role in her sobriety.

“Ashley has a similar background to me, but she has paid it forward. I want to do that for others,” Mehgan said.

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 apply for a vehicle through our Goodwill Cars to Work program.

“I hadn’t owned a vehicle in years. My credit was so messed up,” Mehgan said. “Now, I have the credit karma app. Every month, I love seeing the balance on my car go down!”

In addition to being approved for a loan and purchasing a vehicle, Mehgan is financially independent and lives on her own.

“I feel like a grown up!” she joked. “I feel accomplished. I have self-worth. Goodwill gave me purpose.”

Mehgan’s next step is to repair her relationship with her children.

“Kids are resilient. The little ones are just happy to see me, but it will take time with the older ones,” she said. “I know that actions speak louder than words. So, I am going to prove that I am a dependable person today, and I owe that to Goodwill. Goodwill took a chance on me, and now I have purpose.”