In the spirit of graduation season, the Excel Center in South Bend is making a difference by helping adults in Michiana earn their high school diplomas. Operated by Goodwill, this tuition-free charter school is dedicated to assisting individuals over the age of 18 in completing their Indiana Core 40 diplomas, while also offering support in transportation and childcare.
Recognizing the tremendous impact of the Excel Center, Martin's Super Markets has awarded the school a generous $1,000 "One School at a Time" grant. This grant will provide vital resources to enhance the center's programs and facilities, benefiting both current and future students.
One student, Sierra Belle, exemplifies the transformative power of the Excel Center. Sierra made the decision to return to school after dropping out in ninth grade, driven by her desire to provide a better future for herself and her two-year-old daughter, Omara. With the support of the Kids Excel program, the school's childcare facility, Sierra was able to pursue her education while knowing her daughter was in safe hands.
Dr. Chris Alber, the vice president of the Excel Center, emphasizes the school's commitment to helping individuals overcome obstacles and achieve their educational goals. He highlights that the center offers adults the opportunity to earn their Core 40 high school diploma, dispelling the misconception that a GED is their only option.
Kim Herron, a student at the Excel Center, nominated the school for the Martin's grant. Grateful for the support she has received, Kim explains how the school has not only helped her pursue her high school diploma but has also provided essential life skills, as well as assistance with basic needs such as food, clothing, and housing information.
The grant funds will be directed towards supporting the Excel Center's childcare center, benefiting parents like Sierra who rely on the facility while pursuing their education. Dr. Alber expresses gratitude for the grant, noting that it will help enhance the materials and supplies available to students, ultimately contributing to their success.
As the Excel Center's graduation approaches on May 31, the achievements of students like Sierra and Kim are celebrated. Sierra plans to continue her educational journey by enrolling in Ivy Tech's forensics program, demonstrating the positive ripple effect of the Excel Center's support.
Congratulations to Sierra, Kim, and the entire Excel Center class of 2023 on their remarkable accomplishments. The Martin's grant serves as a testament to the dedication of the school's staff and the commitment of adult learners in Michiana.