My Story: Michael Harper, Jr.
I’ve had to overcome a lot to get where I am today. In my teenage years, I started getting in trouble. I was seeing people out there selling drugs, and I started doing it because I thought it was the right thing to do. It caught up with me.
I went to prison for 22 months. The whole time I was in there, I was thinking about a lot of things I did. I didn’t want my kids to make the same mistakes I did. After I got out, I got into church, I got married, and I got my high school diploma.
Two weeks after that, I found out about Goodwill Industries of Central Indiana from my cousin who worked here. I came here for a chance. I started with Goodwill on April 27, 2011. Now, I’m a team lead for cleaning and janitorial services at our local VA hospital.
I’m making the most out of it. I live with my wife and kids in our own apartment. I’m responsible with my money. My kids are doing well in school, and they’re on the honor roll.
At work, I make sure my team is doing what they’re supposed to do and make sure everything is running smooth. And if it’s not, I step in and take care of it. On my team, there are people with disabilities, so you have to learn their strengths and how to communicate with each one.
I try to be positive and help people, and I do it from the heart, not just because I work here. I love my job and the people around me. They help me out a lot, and they encourage me. The job is challenging, but that makes you stronger.
When I was in prison, I used to tell my mother–plus I made a promise to God–that if I get out of this situation, I’d change my life around. And that’s what I did. I just made the wrong choices in life, and now I’m getting my life on track.
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