From Third-Generation Single Mom to First-Generation College Graduate

    [fa icon="calendar"] Jan 4, 2018 7:00:00 AM / by Jenny Kakasuleff

    Jenny Kakasuleff

    Gloria is a great success story

    Gloria Turner was a third-generation single mother and high school dropout when she learned about The Excel Center®, Goodwill’s high school for adults.

    At first, Gloria was apprehensive about enrolling. She was unsure of whether she could make the commitment necessary to finish and do well, as she struggled to make ends meet in her personal life.

    “I had recently lost my job and was essentially homeless at the time,” Gloria said. “I was staying at a friend’s house with my 6-year old son, worried that our only vehicle was going to be repossessed.”

    The Excel Center’s free child care center helped Gloria ultimately make the decision to enroll. The school’s flexible scheduling and accelerated coursework allowed her to earn her diploma in just over seven months. She also earned an industry-recognized certification -- all at no cost.

    “Earning a 4.0 GPA and Pharmacy Technician Certification encouraged me to go to college, which was far beyond what I had initially set out to accomplish,” Gloria said.

    Gloria earned a 4.0 GPA and Pharmacy Tech certification

    Gloria went on to earn a two-year degree from Ivy Tech in 2017, becoming the first in her family to graduate college. She is now employed as a Life Coach at The Excel Center and plans to triple major in political science, social work and business administration at Indiana State University beginning in spring 2018.

    “What better place to give back than an organization that put so much into me? I can now pay it forward by helping other individuals earn their high school diploma,” Gloria said.

    In her free time, Gloria enjoys volunteering, recently receiving the Silver and Gold Presidential Volunteer Service Award this past summer for 500 hours of community service completed.

    “I was fortunate to receive help from the community when I needed it,” Gloria said. “It’s important to me to give back and set a good example for my sons.”

    Motivated by her own experiences, Gloria plans to start a nonprofit called A.L.E.R.T, which stands for adult learners educated, restored, and transformed. The organization would connect non-traditional students with resources that make  higher education a more attainable goal.

    Gloria graduated from The Excel Center and now works for The Excel Center

    “The Excel Center helped me realize that college is attainable for anyone with the desire to further their education,” Gloria said. “I hope to be an inspiration for those who thought they couldn’t do it. I’m proof that it can end with you -- starting today.”


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    Topics: Employment, success story, The Excel Center, Education