Khalilah Palmer, school development director for The Excel Center national office, has had a busy summer supporting the opening of two new locations of The Excel Center, Goodwill’s high school for adults. Goodwill Industries of the Chesapeake, located in Baltimore, Maryland, and Palmetto Goodwill, located in Charleston, South Carolina, will open The Excel Center this fall.
Lizbeth Cruz Gonzalez, 36, has constantly been striving for the best opportunities in her life, even at a young age. Originally from Mexico, Lizbeth wanted to pursue her education, but it came with challenges.
Goodwill leaders from across the country recently visited Washington, D.C. to educate federal lawmakers on the effectiveness of The Excel Center, Goodwill’s one-of-a-kind high school for adults who wish to earn a high school diploma.
Byron Pillow Jr., 23, was born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana. As a teenager who struggled with multiple learning disabilities, school wasn't a priority for Pillow, despite having support from his family.
Born in Mexico, Imelda Lopez lived far away from her local high school, and due to transportation barriers, she never attended. She moved to the United States as a teenager, was married at the age of 16, had her first child at 17, and then four more after that. To help support her family, she always worked. She was employed at a factory for 10 years, but the work became too taxing as she grew older.
Recognizing that nearly a half million working-age Hoosiers lack a high school diploma, Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana opened The Excel Center in 2010. The Excel Center is a tuition-free public high school for adults offering an Indiana Core 40 high school diploma. In addition, graduates are able to earn college credits and industry-recognized certifications — all at no cost.
Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana proudly operates 15 Excel Center locations that support Hoosier adults returning to school to achieve their educational and career goals. The adult high schools provide onsite child care, transportation assistance and life coaching - all at no cost to the student.