At 19 years old, I am proud to say that I graduated from high school this year as the salutatorian of my class. Originally from Venezuela, I earned an education at home that did not transfer to the United States. Upon learning about the education opportunities right here in Noblesville, I was thrilled to learn about The Excel Center®, a free high school for adults owned and operated by Goodwill, which led me to the happiest year of my life so far!
As a Venezuelan newcomer to the United States, I wasn’t sure about what to do after arriving; I knew I wanted to continue with my education, but I wasn’t sure how. I tried looking for a way to enter high school. First, I tried enrolling in a traditional high school, but I could not do it because of complications with the enrolling system, and that made me feel defeated, having to reconsider things because I may not be able to actually continue my studies.
But then, I got lucky; the counselor that was helping me with everything related to my enrollment told me not to worry and handed me a paper with all the information I needed to enroll at The Excel Center. It was later that day that I learned a cousin of mine had studied there too, and I decided to ask him about his experience at The Excel Center. He said the people there were very friendly, and they are always willing to help you if you need it.
A couple of days after, I enrolled and began attending classes. I had the idea that it might be hard for me to get used to the way things worked, but my teachers made sure to make it as easy for me as possible. They were even willing to help or guide me in any way I needed, for months and, even now, weeks after my graduation, I know I can still approach not only my teachers but any staff for whatever I need, whenever I need it, knowing they will make time to help me.
The Excel Center has allowed me to meet so many great people who really have a passion for what they do, people you can make friends with and have a fun conversation with. Teachers will never try to pressure you, that’s not the point; they want you to succeed more than anything else. And if you need a more flexible schedule, or need a day off for whatever reason, they are willing to work with you to help you succeed.
In addition to earning a Core 40 high school diploma, The Excel Center helped me earn free dual credit in four college courses. I will take these credits with me as I continue my studies at Ivy Tech before studying audio technology at a university.
The Excel Center and its staff have done so much for me and for others, and I appreciate it greatly, which is why I can only tell everyone that The Excel Center is a unique place to obtain a high school diploma, including free college and career pathways! Learn more about The Excel Center at excelcenter.org.