Sixteen Women Celebrate Graduation at the Lockhart Women’s Correctional Facility
The second graduating class of The Goodwill Excel Center Campus at the Lockhart Women’s Correctional Facility walked the stage Thursday, June 7 with their diplomas in hand! The Class of 2018 includes 16 new high school graduates and many plan to continue their education, hoping that their success will be an example to family and friends.
Goodwill Excel Center Superintendent Traci Berry told graduating students that they make the school. “We are here for you all, but you made this possible.”
Guest Commencement Speaker, State Representative James White, congratulated the graduates on their significant accomplishment. “You have accomplished something in a very, very tough environment,” said Rep. White.
He also said that educational programs, like the adult high school, are vital to changing lives and supporting families. “We want you to continue to make your families better and stronger when you get out.” Rep. White said to truly change a person you must transform not only the heart but the mind.
Graduate Stephanie (pictured right) said she never imagined she would be getting a high school diploma. “I thought the most I would get coming to prison was a GED,” said Stephanie. “Prison is prison, but I wouldn’t have wanted to go to any other unit. I’ve gotten a big opportunity because of Goodwill.”
Stephanie said the program kept her motivated. “Coming to the Goodwill program, it’s hands on. The teachers actually do care. They want to see you make it. They keep you motivated.”
With her new diploma in hand, Graduate Kayla hopes to attend Austin Community College to become a veterinary technician or get into culinary arts.
Like Stephanie, Kayla is grateful for the support of Excel staff. “They sit there and they listen, especially our [Life Coaches],” said Kayla. "We can honestly tell that they care, that we’re not just some inmates. They do it because they want to, and they care and they show us that every time they come here.”
Kayla said she is proud of her accomplishment and hopes she can be a role model for her kids to get their diploma someday. “I told my kids that they have to do well in school, so I had to do well in school, too.”