October 12, 2017 marked The Excel Center® at Goodwill’s first press conference introducing our enhanced commitment to strengthening the community through education. There were over 150 law makers, congressmen, educators and local leaders at the Goodwill Resource Center in Southwest Little Rock eager to learn more about the adult high school and to see how they could get involved.

The Excel Center is the first post-secondary option for adults 19+ to return back to school and earn a high school diploma rather than a GED. The school is tuition free to students and has accelerated courses to help them reach their goals faster. We are also removing any barriers that may be standing in the way of anyone returning to school to further their education. Onsite drop-in childcare, transportation assistance and life coaching are part of each students’ curriculum.

Governor Asa Hutchinson praised Goodwill Industries of Arkansas saying, “the opportunities for advancement in education and employment through Goodwill means a lot to me as well as to the state of Arkansas.” He, amongst many others, agreed that this opportunity for Arkansans is something that will raise the bar for education and employment in our state.

In Pulaski and Saline counties alone, almost 24,000 adults between 18 and 64 lack a high school diploma. Goodwill’s commitment to create an adult high school in Arkansas is born out of Goodwill’s mission of changing lives through education, training and employment. We know that helping second-chance students earn their high school diploma will increase their yearly salary by an average of $9,000 which will allow them to better care for themselves and their children. Children whose parents graduate from high school are also more likely to finish school themselves.

We are so thankful for the support of our local government and cannot wait to see how The Excel Center will impact students and their families!