Jessica Monroe left high school when she was 16 years old. Originally from Muncie, Indiana, she dealt with several barriers at school, including a lack of support from peers.
“I was bullied a lot,” Jessica said. “I tried transferring, but there were issues with my transportation, so I ended up back at the same school and couldn’t handle it anymore.”
Jessica, who deals with separation and social anxiety, moved to Florida with her mom. She remained in Florida for a year and sought out plans there to continue her education. When a relative passed away in Indiana, she returned to Muncie to be with family.
Now 20 years old, Jessica learned about The Excel Center®, Goodwill’s high school for adults. Even when a new campus opened near her home, she was not convinced returning to school would be easy.
“I expected to be further behind in credits,” Jessica said. “But when The Excel Center helped me find my transcripts, I learned I was only a few credits short of graduating.”
Motivated by the finish line ahead of her, Jessica decided to enroll and work towards earning her Core 40 diploma. She appreciated the individualized support provided by the staff, especially the life coaches, who help remove barriers for students and graduates.
“There is something about The Excel Center,” Jessica said. “They go above and beyond every single day.”
While attending The Excel Center, students can earn college credits and industry-recognized certifications at no cost. Jessica enrolled in a college English course and earned three college credits in addition to her diploma, setting her on a path towards post-secondary success.
She graduated in February 2019 and was one of The Excel Center - Muncie’s first graduates. With plans to enroll into a Veterinary Technician program in Florida, Jessica finally feels that she has the support to move forward.
“I know that near or far, The Excel Center is here for me,” Jessica said. “Even as a graduate now, and living thousands of miles away, they will have my back.”