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.
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)
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.
In 2015, Georgina Palma-Santos was pregnant with her first child at the age of 16. Her traditional high school was not designed to support students with children. Seeking other options, Georgina enrolled in an online school but felt like the lack of structure was difficult to manage while raising a newborn. When she heard about The Excel Center®, Goodwill’s high school for adults, she was relieved to have a school with a childcare option.
Katie Reigelsperger started at The Excel Center-Anderson in October of 2013 with zero high school credits after giving birth to her first son at the age of 13. An exceptional student, Katie seized all of the opportunities The Excel Center offered her and graduated in June 2014 with 42 credits and two industry-recognized certifications, including a pharmacy technician certification.
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.