October is National Dropout Awareness Month. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, over 12% of Hoosier working-age adults lack a high school diploma. The Excel Center®, Goodwill’s free high school for adults, is working to decrease that rate by providing adult students the opportunity to pick up where they left off in school, providing support and resources to meet their academic and career goals.
“Sitting and staring at a wall for six months really messes with you,” said Indianapolis Met High School senior Fayia Samba.
Goodwill strongly believes it is essential to raise education attainment levels in Indiana. Not only are the lifetime earnings of high school graduates significantly higher than those of individuals who have left school, but the children of high school graduates are also 50% less likely to leave high school themselves. Goodwill provides opportunities for both adults and youth through The Excel Center® and Indianapolis Metropolitan High School.
Audrey Land has been working for Goodwill of Central and Southern Indiana for the past four years and shows incredible drive and dedication — both individually and professionally — as she follows her career goals at Goodwill.
Zainab Khawaja was born in Pakistan, raised in Saudi Arabia, and at 20 years old moved to Indianapolis to pursue her education. This summer, she will be teaching at The Excel Center® campus where she received her high school diploma in 2018.
Sarah Verhines graduated from The Excel Center®, Goodwill’s high school for adults, in January 2020 at 26 years old while working full time and expecting her first child. Even though she was top 15 in her original high school class, circumstances beyond her control prevented her from graduating.
Goodwill’s education division proudly celebrates over 300 new high school graduates this month! Indianapolis Met High School celebrated their newest class of graduates on June 5, and The Excel Center®, Goodwill’s free high school for adults, will recognize its Class of 2021 across 15 ceremonies this weekend.
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.
Madison Stevenson, 20, has big goals that include earning a PhD and pursuing a career in engineering. Yet, there was a point in time that Madison believed she might not earn a high school diploma.
Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana is proud to congratulate the Children’s Learning Center (CLC) on upholding their status as a nationally accredited child care center! The National Early Childhood Program Accreditation (NECPA) announced earlier this spring that the Children’s Learning Center by Goodwill joins a select group of early childhood care and education programs nationwide and internationally which have shown an exceptional commitment to professional and programmatic quality.