A Second Chance

A few years ago, Casandra thought she had it all. She was married and starting a family, but she was also battling alcoholism. In 2017, a tragedy took the life of her daughter and caused her to sink deeper into despair and substance abuse. That same year, Casandra was arrested for DUI, and one year later – another. She began spiraling and found herself rotating between jail and treatment centers.

By the time she decided enough was enough, she had served two-and-a-half years in county jail. And like so many individuals struggling with addiction, it was solely up to her to decide that it was time to take back control of her life. That this lifestyle was leading nowhere and that she was capable of something more.

As Casandra sat with her probation officer to explore her options on what to do next. She noticed that Casandra did not have her high school diploma. That is when she was referred to NexStep Unlocked, a program of Goodwill Industries of Kansas. “I was a statistic. I had three children by the time I was 18, trying to make ends meet. I thought I would just be working towards my High School diploma,” Casandra said. “I had no idea how much my life could change in such a short amount of time”.

Through the program, Casandra has earned a certification in Composite Fabrication from WSU Tech and is one test away from completing her High School Diploma. She currently works at Textron Aviation and her outlook on life has completely changed. “I’m doing things I never thought I would get to do,” she said. “Unlocked has given me hope”.

NexStep Unlocked offers individuals a second chance to change the trajectory of their lives by giving them confidence and educational opportunities that help them maintain their freedom. Casandra’s story is just one example of many from the Unlocked program.

To learn more about the NexStep Unlocked program, visit NexStep Unlocked.

To refer someone to the program, click here.