Louisiana Goodwill® Exec Develops Program for At-Risk Youth

Goodwill Industries International Honors Julie Bass with Robert E. and Charlotte Watkins Award for Excellence in Mission Advancement

Shreveport, LA — Julie Bass, chief program officer at Goodwill Industries of North Louisiana, is being honored by Goodwill Industries International for developing a program that provides at-risk adolescents free literacy training, teaches life and financial literacy skills, and provides employment at Goodwill while completing their education. The goal of E2 – which stands for Education + Employment = Success – is to prepare students to transition into further education such as a community college, technical college or a school/training program of their choice, while learning transferable job skills.
Students take part in the program four days a week. Half of the day is spent in literacy instruction provided by program partner Bossier Parish Community College. The other half of the day is spent working at Goodwill and participating in life skills and financial literacy training. Funding has come from the Northwest Human Service District (2013-2017), Capital One (2012-2014) and the Frost Foundation (2015).
The success of the program is undeniable: of all participants, 92 percent increased their Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE) scores, 100 percent were trained in a minimum of two job areas within the agency, and 100 percent increased their independent living skills.
Recently, Goodwill Industries of North Louisiana was chosen to host a “learn and lead” lab where the E2 program was highlighted as an example to other Goodwills.
“Julie embodies the qualities the Watkins family envisioned. The innovative program can ultimately be replicated and benefit other Goodwill agencies,” said Jim Gibbons, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. “We look forward to seeing future successes emerge from the E2 program in Shreveport and beyond.”
The Robert E. and Charlotte Watkins Award for Mission Advancement honors a Goodwill leader (CEO, staff or volunteer) who has made an innovative contribution (service or process) to the advancement of the Goodwill mission.