The challenges and opportunities we all face in life shift our paths. At 15, Magi Wachtel experienced a major shift in her life when her father passed away from cancer.
“It was hard, and I just shut down,” Magi said. “My dad was gone, and our lives changed. I had to work to help out financially.”
She also faced a medical complication that resulted in her having to re-learn how to walk and talk.
Overwhelmed by her responsibilities as a young adult, Magi left high school her junior year but hadn’t earned credits as a freshman or sophomore.
After facing those challenges, Magi wanted to finish high school. She tried two online schools that weren’t the best fit for her.
“The other programs I tried didn’t work for me because there wasn’t much interaction with teachers,” Magi said. “It wasn’t personal or engaging, and I couldn’t get the support I needed.”
But then Magi experienced another pivotal life moment -- she learned about The Excel Center, Goodwill’s one-of-a-kind high school for adults, when her sister brought home a flier. Magi was immediately attracted to the various opportunities and support.
“One of the things I was most interested in was the drop-in center,” Magi said. “As a single mom to a 4-month-old and a 2-year-old, I really needed that.”
The Excel Center’s understanding and supportive environment was just what Magi needed to continue her education.
“At Excel, I get the support I need,” Magi said. “Teachers don’t judge you. The classes are smaller, and it’s more personalized so you get additional help if needed.”
Magi also appreciated that all of her classmates had a story, and they were able to respect and learn from each other through sharing their stories with one another.
“The people here make you feel like you’ve known them a long time,” Magi said. “Everyone helps each other.”
The resources, guidance and support Magi received at The Excel Center helped her achieve her goal of graduating from high school. She graduated in June with a Core 40 high school diploma and business professional certification. She also passed her state certification and is now a Certified Clinical Medical Assistant. Following graduation she completed an externship with Major Health Partners.
To learn more about adult education or to read more stories like Magi's, check out other blogs featuring our students.