Earning a Diploma and Creating a Legacy

    [fa icon="calendar"] Feb 20, 2024 3:00:00 PM / by Noelle Gray

    Noelle Gray

    To grow in his career and earn a family-sustaining wage, Mark Powell needed his high school diploma.

    “I was working a lot of jobs that were not letting me progress,” said Mark. “They needed a little more education that I didn't have.”

    He turned to The Excel Center® on the southeastern side of Indianapolis, Goodwill’s high school for adults, to achieve his goal. However, The Excel Center became more than just a school providing academic resources and support – it became another home.

    “They're like family here,” said Mark. “They really care about you. They're always making sure you're on track with your goals. They always have Fridays open for people to come in and get extra help.”


    Students of The Excel Center receive life coaches, staff members who work with them to create a graduation plan that fits their goals and needs. For Mark, his life coach was an invaluable asset. Mark and his coach connected on being from the same home state, Illinois. Together, they planned how to overcome his barriers to earn his high school diploma.

    “I told my life coach about how hard it was to finish my schooling back in Illinois,” said Mark. “I tried to get my GED twice but dropped out of the program both times. I had no one to talk to about my barriers when I moved to Indiana -- besides my life coach at The Excel Center.”

    The support he has received from The Excel Center has made education and a brighter future more attainable. A Core 40 high school diploma would show employers that Mark is ready to progress and allow him to fulfill a personal and lifelong ambition.


    Mark’s grandfather and uncle owned automotive body shops and passed down their knowledge of cars to him. By attending The Excel Center, he has the opportunity to accredit those skills with a welding and automotive technology certification available through the school’s course offerings.

    Once Mark finishes his welding certification, paid for by The Excel Center, he will be on track to work toward an automotive technology certificate. He is expected to graduate in February 2024.

    “Graduating for me would mean I would be able to help my family,” said Mark. “I want to keep their legacy alive.” 

    Topics: The Excel Center, Education, Multi-gen impact, Goodwill Education

    Noelle Gray

    Written by Noelle Gray

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