Recently, President Biden issued a proclamation marking April as Second Chance Month. This is a time to raise awareness of the challenges facing people with criminal backgrounds, and how here at Goodwill we empower second chance individuals to achieve career and life success. The overwhelming majority of people who are incarcerated will return to their communities at some point, and many of them will confront issues including significant barriers to employment. Without access to jobs, education, training, and general reintegration services, second chance individuals are at a greater risk to reoffend. In fact, the recidivism rate in Colorado is over 50 percent.
Here at Goodwill of Colorado, we pride ourselves on giving everyone a second chance, and believe in the power of work. We are committed to the success of people who are returning to our communities after being incarcerated and strive to help people overcome challenges and reach their full potential. Our evidence-based reentry services offer second chance individual’s opportunities to engage in learning, upskilling, and receive critical work experience to help them move forward. This has been our mission for over 100 years.
This Second Chance Month, we want to highlight Glenna Stanley, a 2014 Helms Legacy Award Honoree.
Early in adulthood, Glenna’s fairytale aspirations were crushed by a long and contentious divorce that left her with joint custody of two young children and sent her life into a tailspin. Although employed full-time, the financial pressures of being a single mother were hard to avoid, so Glenna downsized her home, took a second job and made childcare arrangements with her sister, who lived more than two hours away from her weekend employer. Soon, the long workdays and commute hours took their toll on Glenna, who, in desperation, turned to another form of assistance—pills.
Her innocent intentions in taking the over-the-counter medications to simply stay alert during her 2:00 am commute led to a nearly lethal drug addiction. She then moved her family in with her parents to save money and maintain her drug habit, which escalated to 60-120 pills daily, along with emerging gambling and alcohol dependencies. Her addictions led to a host of criminal convictions and repeat jail sentences.
Glenna recalls two major turning points in her life: her son questioning whether he would ever see his mom again after her third trip to jail, and her successful completion of a drug and alcohol recovery program while in prison.
“Goodwill was able to see that there was good in me.”
Overlooking her past mistakes, Goodwill offered Glenna employment at one of Goodwill’s stores where her hard work and dedication prompted multiple promotions. In March 2020, Glenna was promoted to District Manager where she now oversees seven stores in Colorado.
All three of her kids are now grown and married with children, making Glenna a proud grandmother. This past December, Glenna celebrated a milestone 15 years with Goodwill and reflected on how grateful and blessed she is that she gets to work with such amazing people every day. The challenges everyone faced this past year, combined with COVID restrictions put in place last March, have reminded Glenna of the connections that she feels when she gets to “see” the different levels of employees throughout the organization and the power that work can provide to the community.
In 2014, Glenna was named the recipient of our Helms Legacy Award, recognizing her dedication to putting her past behind her and moving forward on a better path.
Since 1918, Goodwill has changed Coloradans’ lives. Through our thrift stores, donations, corporate partnerships and recycling processes, we have worked to ensure individuals have access to career and life pathways that allow them to live to their fullest potential. Help us help others get a true second chance at life by visiting one of our stores today!
To learn more about Second Chance Month, please click here.