Bobetta Wright was one of Indiana’s 7% of teenage girls to get pregnant while she was in high school. Due to circumstances surrounding her pregnancy, Bobetta was told to leave her high school and never returned to finish. Without a high school diploma, Bobetta and her husband were unable to find employment, leaving them unable to secure stable housing. Her family bounced around from place to place for several years, even having to spend one winter out in a tent.
While at a local food bank, Bobetta and her husband learned that they could get a free high school diploma through The Excel Center, Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana’s high school for adults. They both immediately enrolled and Bobetta started classes while her husband looked for employment. Though she had already enrolled, she still believed that she was not good enough and was not capable of finishing school which made her want to give up.
“I thought that I could not do it, but the staff at The Excel Center helped fight that and learn to believe in myself,” said Bobetta. “They helped me to understand I am capable and smart enough to earn my diploma. I can do anything as long as I work hard to achieve it.”
Bobetta faced many other challenges in her journey to finish her education, including multiple family emergencies, including the near-death of her son, who is now 19. Her family also struggled to keep their bills paid and gas in their car, but despite all of these challenges, Bobetta continued to push forward, refusing to let anything hold her back. In January 2020, she graduated from The Excel Center, successfully earning her Indiana Core 40 high school diploma. Bobetta's husband, who is currently enrolled in The Excel Center, is expected to graduate in the Fall of 2021.
“I would have never been able to get through all of this if it was not for The Excel Center, Goodwill and the staff,” said Bobetta. “I am truly grateful for their support.”
Bobetta enrolled in college as soon as she graduated but has continued to face multiple challenges. Though she filed for financial aid, she was denied for reasons beyond her control and has had to pay for her classes out of pocket, putting an increased financial strain on her family. Bobetta and her husband have worked hard to ensure that education remains a high priority for their family and because of this dedication to furthering her education, Bobetta was recently awarded Goodwill’s McClelland Scholarship to help cover the cost of her classes for the upcoming Fall 2021 term.
Bobetta is currently pursuing her bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice at Ivy Tech, with the hopes of becoming a forensic anthropologist in order to help solve homicides and give the victims a voice.
“I know now that no matter what the challenge is, I have the strength to overcome whatever it is and break those barriers down, I will break them down,” Bobetta said. “I will never give up on my education ever again, and I won’t let anyone in my family give up either. I’ll achieve my dream, no matter what it takes.”
To learn more about The Excel Center, visit excelcenter.org.