5/15/12 — Amy Landgraf, 2012 Graduate of the Year
Amy Landgraf had no home, no job and an uncertain future when she was released from prison after serving time for embezzlement. One of her first steps toward independence was turning to the Goodwill Inn.
“Together with support from the staff at the Goodwill Inn, my parole agent and the Michigan Prisoner Reentry program I was able to begin to carve out a new life for myself,” says Amy. “The next step was being hired at the Goodwill Store. I remember the interview, and Joyce Zagunis, the store manager, saying to me “I need you to tell me why I should give you this job.” I finally said, “I need someone to give me a chance. It was a very big deal getting the job after being incarcerated.”
In her quest to become stable enough to have her own place, Amy also worked a second job for a year and a half. Not content to just work, she stepped out of her comfort zone and took on a new job in the Goodwill E-Commerce Department. “I had to learn computer and photography skills,” explained Amy. “It gave me a boost of confidence that I probably would not have gotten if I stayed in my old position. It gave me a feeling that I know I can achieve more, and I can do more. It has been a big force in my life.”
Annette Goodyear, Goodwill Inn Case Manager said, “what impressed me right from the start was Amy’s motivation and dedication to start rebuilding her life. She faced challenges with many obstacles that a lot of people would not want to face. Amy went right toward those and accomplished them faster than anyone I have ever seen.”
With Goodwill’s help, Amy has found a way to rebuild her life. “Goodwill was able to help me use all the resources at my disposal that could possibly help me. That is what I will forever be grateful for,” explains Amy. “The support network that Goodwill laid down that I could utilize, has led to better choices.”
“Amy has grown and become an empowered person, and very strong,” said Annette. “I think she knows what she wants in life, and I have no doubt, she will accomplish those things. She is very deserving of the Graduate of the Year Award”.
Amy added, “I thank the Goodwill family for everything they have done for me…for all the structure in front of me that has helped me go from homeless to my fabulous apartment and helping me get my life back on track.”