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.
Haley Ring, 27, decided to return to high school as an adult because of something her eldest daughter, who is 11 years old, once said to her.
There are 460,000 working-age Hoosiers who lack a high school diploma. Prior to The Excel Center, Goodwill’s free high school for adults, there were few options for people like Jacob Barrett who wanted to earn one.
Indianapolis Metropolitan High School is a best-fit school for students experiencing circumstances that may present a barrier to education, including teen pregnancy or parenting, homelessness, involvement with the foster care or criminal justice system and more. The school places an emphasis on ensuring students enroll in college or enter into a career that offers a higher wage post-graduation.
Becky Escareño graduated from The Excel Center, Goodwill’s free high school for adults, in 2017. Mother of two, Becky not only graduated with an Indiana high school diploma, but she also earned industry-recognized certifications — all at no cost.