LOUISVILLE, Ky. — It’s touted as a first of its kind program in Kentucky. Goodwill’s Excel Center gives adults ages 18-64 a second chance at earning their high school diploma.

What You Need To Know

  • Goodwill Excel Center offers free high school courses for adults

  • Students who experienced barriers and hardships early in life rarely graduate

  • Students take accelerated courses in math, English, history and more 

  • U.S. Congressman Morgan McGarvey toured the Excel Center this week

Students take accelerated courses in math, English, history and more through JCPS curriculum.

“You’re learning everything you’re going to need to prepare you for the world of work but also it’s going to give you that academic achievement so you can go on and pursue your college education,” Lead Life Coach Mary Simmons said.

Simmons guides students through the Excel Center experience. They come from varied backgrounds, though most experienced challenges and barriers that kept from graduating high school earlier in life.

“But they’ve been in the world of work and they’ve been through life and they decided education is crucial and it is key,” Simmons explained.

About a year ago, 35-year-old Travis Adams came to his own conclusion: he wanted to go back to school and earn his diploma. He expects to graduate the accelerated program later this year.

“What I wanted for myself initially was to get my high school diploma. That’s was what I initially wanted, but when I got here and I started math and realized [how] good I was at it and how much I liked it, I thought maybe I could pursue a career in it,” Adams said confidently.

The opportunity is life changing, according to Simmons. On Tuesday, Congressman Morgan McGarvey toured the expansive facility on Preston Highway to learn more. McGarvey walked the hallways of the center, which also provides free day care for students with children.

Time and time again, Simmons says she is inspired by the perseverance displayed by students.

“And each term they will say I’ve got one more term to go, I’ve got one more class to do, or I passed my civic exam so to hear them embrace and have that joy and have tears of success It’s just amazing,” Simmons said.