Goodwill Industries International Names the 2023 Graduate and Achiever Award Recipients
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Goodwill Industries International, 2023 Achiever of the Year - Taylor Devenport, Goodwill of North Central Wisconsin Goodwill Industries International, 2023 Kenneth Shaw Graduate of the Year - Katie Reigelsperger, Goodwill of Central and Southern Indiana
ROCKVILLE, Md., June 28, 2023 ~ Goodwill Industries International recently announced Katie Reigelsperger and Taylor Devenport as its 2023 Graduate and Achiever of the Year, respectively. The announcement was made at the Goodwill Delegate Assembly in Anchorage, Alaska on June 25th. Both Reigelsperger and Devenport were recognized for their outstanding accomplishments in overcoming significant challenges and breaking barriers to obtaining employment through the support of their local Goodwill organizations.

Katie Reigelsperger was named this year's Kenneth Shaw Graduate of the Year. At 13 years of age, she became a teen mom, lacking a support system as her parents were struggling with substance abuse and alcoholism. She was forced to drop out of school and worked a series of low-paying jobs that lacked advancement, had little financial security, and no benefits while taking care of her young child. She discovered the Excel Center®, Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana's tuition-free high school for adults, and her career path and life changed for the better. Through grit and determination and taking full advantage of Goodwill's professional development opportunities, she was able to gain experience as well as leadership and mentorship skills that enabled her to earn a Pharmacy Technician Certification from The Excel Center®. This ultimately helped her start her own business: KLR Pharmacy Technician Training School. Her vision for her company is to pay it forward by providing education and job placement opportunities to those struggling to find their way in a career path, with a focus on promoting development of soft skills for students who've dealt with similar life struggles.

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Taylor Devenport was named this year's Achiever of the Year. Born prematurely, she needed extra time to complete class work in high school and was enrolled in special education classes to address her learning challenges. She was referred by her School-to-Work coordinator to Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin's (NCW) School-to-Work program which equipped her with the self-confidence, job and leadership skills she needed to achieve her career goals and help others do the same. During her time at Goodwill NCW, she built valuable skills that led to several job promotions and sustained employment. Today, Devenport is a Senior Job Coach at La Crosse Goodwill store coaching program participants and team members while being an inspiration to them all with her unique point of view when helping others succeed.

Steven C Preston, President & CEO of Goodwill Industries International said "Katie & Taylor exemplify the strength & determination needed to improve a life through learning & work" He further added "Through Goodwill they gained valuable skills & work experience that made it possible for them to grow & lead in their respective fields & we are proud to honor their remarkable efforts"

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The stories of Katie Reigelsperger & Taylor Devenport are truly inspiring examples that show how hard work can help one overcome any obstacle or challenge they may face in life!
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