Columbia's Goodwill Excel Center hosts first graduation
COLUMBIA - Columbia’s Goodwill Excel Center Hosted its very first commencement ceremony.
The Goodwill Excel Center is a free high school for adults who want to earn their high school diploma.
Marks Arens, the Superintendent of Missouri’s Goodwill Excel Centers, said students have been waiting their whole lives for this moment.
“The whole 282 graduates have been waiting most of their lives for this day,” said Arens. “It means better ability to support themselves, it means being able to take on that job that maybe they have been excited to do but didn’t have the education to pursue, it sets an amazing example.”
The center had three graduation ceremonies during the day, with one at 1 p.m., 2 p.m., and 3 p.m.
In addition to earning high school diplomas, students can receive college credit and specific job certifications for the future.
The director of Columbia’s Goodwill Excel Center, Mike Reynolds, said they are hopeful to have more students in the future.
“We are hoping to bring more students in for live instruction. We would love to see our 140 student enrollment go up to 200 plus,” said Reynolds. “Hoping to grow and very, very appreciative of everything our students have done to get up to this point.”
In Missouri alone, Goodwill’s Excel Centers will graduate 168 students this weekend between four schools in Poplar Bluff, Columbia, Springfield, and St. Louis.
Those who want to sign up can go to the Goodwill Excel Center website for more information.