Through grit, determination and tenacity in taking full advantage of professional development opportunities at Goodwill of Central and Southern Indiana (Indianapolis), Katie Reigelsperger overcame tremendous obstacles in her path to become an entrepreneur focused on helping others succeed.
When she was growing up, Katie’s parents were struggling with substance abuse and alcoholism. Without good role models, she became pregnant at just 13 years of age and needed to raise her child without support. She was forced to drop out of school to care for him. Katie worked a series of low-paying jobs that lacked advancement opportunities, gave little financial security, and provided no benefits. She became pregnant again at 18 and was still struggling to find opportunities to give her family a solid footing. Then she discovered The Excel Center®, Goodwill of Central and Southern Indiana’s tuition-free high school for adults, and her career path and life changed for the better.
Katie worked hard to earn her diploma, gain experience, and learn leadership and mentorship skills that enabled her to then earn a Pharmacy Technician Certification from The Excel Center®. After some time working in the field, The Excel Center staff asked if she’d consider teaching a pharmacy technician class. She has always said she’s not a teacher, but their faith in her gave Katie the confidence to try.
From that teaching experience, she ultimately decided to start her own business, KLR Medical Certification Training School, to help others like her achieve success in the healthcare field. Katie’s 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.
This June, Katie was recognized for her growth and achievements with the Goodwill Industries International Kenneth Shaw Graduate of the Year award. The award recognizes an outstanding person with a disability or disadvantaging condition who completed a Goodwill career services program and is competitively employed by a non-Goodwill employer.
Hear Katie tell her story in her own words.