Night School, a documentary film following three adult students working to earn their Indiana Core 40 high school diploma and technical certifications from The Excel Center will be showing for a limited time this June at the Indiana State Museum.
The typical student at The Excel Center® – Goodwill’s high school for adult learners – is between 18-24 years old, but returning to school at the age of 47 isn’t the only characteristic that separates Brenda Leake from most of her classmates.
Although a teenager at the time, when Dominique Daye learned she was pregnant, her priorities became her son and planning for their future. She didn't have a car or a stable living environment, so she moved from Indianapolis to O'Connor House, a home for single mothers and their children located in Carmel, where she stayed for more than 18 months until she could secure a place of her own.
Denise Floyd enrolled at The Excel Center when she was nearly 30 years old. She had previously left high school after falling behind in her classes. Denise supported her family working various odd jobs, but she wanted a career.
When Alia Schleppenbach enrolled at The Excel Center in Lafayette in April 2016, she had no idea her mother would pass away just a few months later.
After becoming pregnant at a young age, Ashlee Roy dropped out of high school and thought her dreams were over. However, in 2015, she graduated from The Excel Center in Lafayette, earning her high school diploma. As a member of student council, she spoke at the graduation ceremony. The following are her words of encouragement to her classmates.
In the face of multiple challenges, Heather Cardenas struggled yet ultimately persevered and excelled. She ran away from home at 17 years old without earning her high school diploma. She endured and eventually escaped an abusive relationship, became a teen mother and faced barriers to earning a livable income and finding stable housing. Today, she works as the administrative assistant for Nurse-Family Partnership Northeast Region.