At 19 years old, I am proud to say that I am on the way to achieving my dreams of becoming an elementary school teacher. While trying to balance school and work responsibilities, I was so excited to learn about The Excel Center, a free high school for adults owned and operated by Goodwill. Their supportive environment, accelerated courses, and flexible schedule empowered me to make progress toward my goals.
“If there’s even a slight chance at getting something that will make you happy, risk it. Life’s too short and happiness is too rare.” - A.R Lucas.
Throughout my life, I have battled with my mental health. In my junior year of high school, I decided I needed a break, so I took some time off from school and focused on seeing my family in any way possible, as well as playing ice hockey. When I finally started to feel better, I knew I needed to return to school, but by then, I was unable to enroll due to being a fifth-year student. And that's when I learned about The Excel Center, which has shown me that second chances are possible.
Since enrolling at The Excel Center in Noblesville, I have felt so welcomed and accepted. All my teachers are helpful and understanding, which is making my time in school feel easier and possible to accomplish. The Excel Center understands that you may have responsibilities outside of school that can create stress. I love that each term is only eight weeks long and takes place four days a week; this allows me to chase my dreams on an accelerated schedule while keeping my other commitments. Plus, the small class sizes allow you to get to know your peers and make friends easily.
Another great feature of The Excel Center is the engrained support system. If you are struggling in any way, you can open up to your teacher or life coaches. They are all very understanding and will listen to you, help you find resources to overcome barriers, and encourage you to keep going. The teachers and coaches here will encourage you to not only graduate but also help to set you up for success after graduation by providing free college and career pathways. I have fallen in love with the environment of this school; it has been an amazing experience for me and they are pushing me to succeed in ways I never thought possible.
I am so happy I found this school because, without it, I would undoubtedly have fewer opportunities in my future. After I graduate in November 2022, I plan on attending Fort Lewis College to major in elementary education with a minor in adventure education. My dual credit pathway will give me a headstart on this experience as well! Throughout my time in school and in The Excel Center I have learned that I want to work with kids and help them learn in ways they never thought were possible. Learning should be fun - like it’s been for me - and I want to create a way to integrate outdoors and education and social skills all into school. My time at The Excel Center is making this possible for me! Learn more about The Excel Center at excelcenter.org.