Goodwill proudly celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month, a time to honor the innumerable achievements and contributions of Latinx Americans.
We recently sat down with Janay Rentas, life coach at The Excel Center®, to learn about what this month means to her.
“I think it is important that everyone celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month because there are so many cultures within the Latinx community,” Rentas explains. “Celebrating Hispanic heritage means educating yourself and being open to the different experiences of each culture.”
Rentas has worked at The Excel Center in Lafayette, Indiana, for nearly three years. Prior to this role, she worked at Goodwill retail stores throughout high school and college.
The Excel Center is Goodwill’s tuition-free high school where adults who have previously left school can return to finish their Core 40 high school diploma. In addition to providing barrier removal supports such as on-site child care and transportation assistance, The Excel Center offers individualized life coaching to all students.
As a life coach, Rentas works one-on-one with students to support their needs inside and outside of the classroom. Her primary goal is to help individuals change their lives through education and career development.
“The majority of the students I have worked with have expressed experiences of adversities or disadvantages that have hindered them from earning their diploma in the past,” Rentas said. “Many students often share that they couldn't have made it to graduation without the support, guidance and services provided by The Excel Center staff. I love seeing our students overcome barriers and achieve their goals!”
Rentas earned a Bachelor of Science in Human Services from Purdue University. She is currently attending IUPUI and working toward a Master's Degree in School Counseling and Mental Health Counseling.
“The most challenging part of my work is recognizing that, as a life coach, I am limited in the help I can provide to students,” Rentas said. “I want to continue to remove barriers for students so that they are able to attend school and accomplish the work that they need.”
Since 2010, The Excel Center has helped over 7,500 adults earn a Core 40 high school diploma in our central and southern Indiana communities.
National Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates the diversity, experiences, challenges, and triumphs of the Latinx community. To learn more, visit https://www.hispanicheritagemonth.gov. To learn more about The Excel Center, visit excelcenter.org.