Theresa Samuels, 33, is a wife, mom, soon-to-be accountant and fervent believer in the power of education. Growing up, however, Theresa’s household did not place much emphasis on the value of schooling.
Seeking new opportunities, Sophia Lan moved to the United States from China. After her arrival in January 2014, she was informed that her high school diploma and bachelor’s degree were not recognized. While working full time and caring for her 6-month-old daughter, Sophia knew she had to go back to school to make a better life for her family. In 2018, Sophia learned that The Excel Center®, Goodwill’s high school for adults, had a campus near her in Lafayette, Indiana, and enrolled right away.
In the Fall of 2018, Josh Yoder joined a team of instructors at a recently opened location for The Excel Center, Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana’s tuition-free high school for adults, in Muncie Indiana. As a math instructor, Josh brought expertise and passion for math into his classroom each and every day. In addition, he immediately discovered the ability to engage with and use technology in his classroom in a way that would benefit his students.
Lily Howell began her journey with Goodwill in 2018 when she enrolled in The Excel Center® Clarksville, Goodwill’s high school for adults, and accepted a position as a part-time associate at the Goodwill retail store down the street. She also met her Guide, Chris Wass. Serving our retail employees, students and other program participants, Goodwill Guides work to identify strengths and challenges and help develop paths to success that involve setting career and financial goals.
Veterans Day is an important day to honor and show appreciation for all who have served in the United States military. Goodwill takes pride in its employment and education of our military veterans — veterans like Chaston Calvin.
When much of the world shut down in March due to the pandemic, a lot of people were left without jobs, or income to be able to pay their bills. For those who were unable to collect unemployment benefits, there were few options available to stay afloat. One of those people was Goodwill Guides participant Rizan Hajji.
October is National Dropout Prevention 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 allowing adult students the opportunity to pick up where they left off in school, providing support and resources to meet their goals.
(Photos taken prior to the onset of COVID-19)
There is no doubt that high school can be a time of transformation and change for students. For students experiencing circumstances that may present a barrier to their education, such as homelessness, involvement in the criminal justice system or teen pregnancy, getting through high school can feel like an impossible feat.