Introducing the First Goodwill Excel Center Graduate
Vanessa wanted to get her GED so she could get a job to make life better for her kids. A single mother of two, she went to Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) to get some information on her next steps.
That’s when things got interesting.
She spotted a flyer at TWC for The Goodwill Excel Center. A place she could get a diploma? She thought her only option was getting a GED. She was thrilled! Vanessa eagerly enrolled the very next day and was put into the lottery.
Vanessa’s journey started when she got pregnant with her daughter at age 16. Lacking the support that she needed to continue her education, Vanessa dropped out of high school to get a job in order to provide for her daughter. Things improved for Vanessa when her mother moved back to Austin to give her additional help. That’s when Vanessa decided to visit TWC for information.
A few days after submitting her application to The Goodwill Excel Center, Vanessa got the call! She was selected to enroll for the first term. Her first day, she walked into class full of nervous excitement. One of the courses she needed to complete was English. She says, “Mr. Webb was great. He had a different way of teaching and explaining things that made it much easier for me to learn.” She also liked the smaller classes with more one-on-one attention to the students.
Vanessa’s hard work paid off - she became the first student to graduate from Excel Center!
“People believe in me again,” she says with a smile.
But, her story doesn’t end there; she wants to continue her education in the nursing field. She remembers how caring the nurses were when she had her baby, and wants to extend that same care to others. A medical career will allow her to help other people, including her children. “I want to give my kids something better than what I had when I was young,” she says. “I want them to know how important education really is.”
One last little fun fact about Vanessa’s journey – she did not take it alone. Her twin sister, Veronica, needed to get her high school diploma as well. They both applied to the Excel Center, they were both accepted into the first classes, and Veronica became the second graduate of the Center. Now that’s a Twin Win!
A toss of the mortarboard and a hearty “Congratulations!” to our first Excel Center graduate, Vanessa!