Dropouts Get a Second Chance at Indianapolis Charter School

The Excel Center – Goodwill Industries of Central Indiana’s school for adults seeking a high school diploma – was recently featured on PBS NewsHour. The Indianapolis Goodwill launched The Excel Center in 2010 and now operates nine sites across central Indiana.

One of the individuals featured, Montaque Koonce, was hired on at a Goodwill outlet store after earning his diploma at The Excel Center. After connecting with other Goodwill services, he landed a job at a central Indiana distribution center for Amazon. “I feel [in] the second half of my life I can get where I’m supposed to be now,” said Koonce, who had dropped out of school about 30 years ago.

Goodwill Industries of Central Indiana President and CEO Jim McClelland took the opportunity to speak about The Excel Center’s multigenerational impact. “We have a lot of students who tell us that they’re doing this for their kids or so their kids won’t have an excuse not to. That’s pretty neat,” he said. “And while we know that – by earning that diploma – it’s going to have a positive impact on the mom or the dad, we think the greater impact is going to be with their children.”

Along with employment opportunities in its retail and commercial services divisions and community health programs such as Nurse-Family Partnership, The Excel Center is one of the innovative ways that Goodwill is helping fulfill its mission to improve the economic self-sufficiency and well-being of adults, families and young people in central Indiana.

Watch the full story, which is part of the PBS “American Graduate” series.