Mohammed Alhamwi’s journey to The Excel Center®, Goodwill’s high school for adults, begins more than 6,000 miles away in his home country of Syria. Like many Syrians, his family was forced to flee as a result of the country’s civil war. As refugees in Jordan, they weren’t permitted to pursue employment or education which left them unable to build a life there. It seemed as if Mohammed’s family was in a perpetual limbo. They connected with Exodus Refugee Project and steadily worked for a more permanent placement. After several years in this limbo state, they received word that they were being placed in the U.S.
Pency Engmawii grew up with 11 siblings in a small Burmese village where education was difficult to acquire without wealth. Education is also approached differently in her home country.
Ella Morris is 63 years old, a mother of four and a grandmother of five. Throughout her life, she has valued education and dreamed of becoming a college graduate. Being a 2017 McClelland Scholar will bring her that much closer to achieving her goal.
In July 2017, Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana awarded nearly $60,000 in scholarships to 22 employees, graduates and program participants to help them overcome barriers to pursuing higher education. One recipient, Nina Sharp, had enrolled at The Excel Center®, Goodwill’s high school for adults, after dropping out 17 years earlier.
If you didn’t know her story, Clarissa Dunn would look like an average, 21-year old college student, but the truth is, she has worked extremely hard to get on the path to higher education. She dropped out of high school her freshman year after becoming pregnant. When she enrolled at The Excel Center®, Goodwill’s high school for adults, she had few transferable credits and was completely starting over.
Born with cerebral palsy, Nathanial Gregory credits his successful high school experience in part to accommodations that were designed to help him overcome his educational barriers. Upon graduation, he enrolled in college – the first in his family to attend – and found himself in an unfamiliar academic setting with little knowledgeable guidance.