Jose Escobedo, Sr. - Outstanding Graduate

Jose

“I love The Goodwill Excel Center! It has opened doors for me and really changed my life.”

Jose always loved math and science and dreamed of a career in medicine. But before he could even think about a career in the medical field, he needed to get his high school diploma and go to college. Today, Jose is well on his way to achieving his dream!

Jose’s journey to becoming the 2017 Hall of Honor Outstanding Graduate wasn’t easy. He lost his dad when he was a freshman in high school. He recalls the day his mom showed up at his school to inform him that his father had passed in a car wreck. After years of watching his mother and siblings struggle, he decided to help provide for his family by getting a job. He dropped out during his Senior year.

Jose tried several different jobs, but none of them provided a real career path. He wanted to make his mark in the world but he just couldn’t get far without a diploma.

He enrolled in multiple GED programs with other organizations but never found the support he needed to stick with it. However, after seeing a TV commercial for The Goodwill Excel Center one day, he hoped this time, he could finally change the course of his future – and that of his son, too. Jose knew that children whose parents don’t finish high school are far more likely to drop out themselves, and he didn’t want his son to face the same struggles he’d endured.

Jose wasn’t sure what to expect when he started at Excel. But the teachers, Life Coaches, and Placement Counselors treated him like an adult, like a peer. It was clear from the very beginning that everybody there wanted him to succeed and he would get the support he needed.

Today, Jose is a high school graduate, and he is preparing to start Austin Community College in the Spring. He says proudly, “My son won’t say, well Dad dropped out, so I can too.” Jose now has a fulfilling job with a local doctor, and in a few years, he’ll be a pediatric nurse practitioner!