Building Good Lives through the Goodwill Excel Center

the goodwill excel center

The Goodwill Excel Center changes lives, one student at a time.

Getting a high school diploma can be the best thing you will do. It will also be one of the greatest challenges. Finishing high school means taking charge of your life and your future. There are many ways you can get your high school diploma, but not all will work for you or with your own life challenges. There are resources available for you to take advantage of. They are not easy choices to make, but they are for you to make.

About the GoodWill

Goodwill started as a nonprofit organization for job training and employment placement in 1902. It was started to help people in communities that face barriers to employment or gaining training for employment. They operate globally in such countries as Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Panama, South Korea, Uruguay, and, of course, the United States.

The goals of the Goodwill are to help needful people all over the world. They hold to their nonprofit ideals of helping those that need the most help. It was started by Revered Edgar J. Helms as a part of his Methodist ministry to collect household goods and redistribute them to those that need them the most.

Over the last 100 years, it has grown into a clothing and household goods donation center with on the job training centers available. Goodwill assists more than 300,000 people with community services and job training every year. Their efforts to expand their reach of assistance are an asset to underserved communities everywhere.

Goodwill has also expanded into the world of education. They have developed a program to help people receive college educations for $1.00 a day through donations. They also opened up their nonprofit high school completion program. This goes beyond the GED and gives you a real high school diploma. It gives students who have additional challenges in their lives a chance to complete high school and at no cost to the student. They also provide the student with tools to take on the world of higher secondary education.

About St. Louis

There are currently over 500,000 adults in Missouri ages 21 and older without a high school diploma. Of the current population of high school students in St. Louis, only 83.3% of students will graduate from high school. Of those students, 84.1% of Black students will graduate with 80.1% of non-black students trailing their graduation rates. These are also the students graduating from four-year high schools. They are also graduating at a rate of 1,298 black students to 323 non-black students within a four-year high school period.

Of the students that never graduate, many will never pursue a high school diploma or higher levels of training. Low high school graduation rates will keep you out of a job and prevent you from pursuing further training for a better job. As a high school dropout, you will have a lower income and few job opportunities once you enter the workforce.

Of all the students dropping out of high school, black students exceed the other populations of students with a dropout rate of 14.8%. They are more likely to complete high school, but they also drop out at higher rates than other demographics.

These rates show which students are most likely to drop out of school with high rates being noted in the public schools. Black students drop out of high school at a rate of 21% in public schools with White students in St. Louis dropping out at a rate of 12.2% with Hispanic students dropping out at a rate of 12.6%.

These rates indicate a large number of students who can benefit from a program designed for you like the one developed by the Goodwill Excel Center is looking to slow and stop the rates of drop out while giving students who need different resources a chance to get that diploma.

About the Goodwill of St. Louis

The Goodwill Excel Center of St. Louis, Missouri offers students a chance to complete their educations through the Goodwill Excel Center.

Their Vision

The purpose of the Center is to help the thousands of students that drop out of high school every year to find their way to a high school diploma. They want to set you up with the skills to achieve a career where employers seek you. Your high level of skills enhances your career potential and through the Goodwill Excel Center, you can find the strength and the people to help you through your own individual career planning and get college credits and a high school diploma.

Their Mission

The mission of the Goodwill Excel Center is the same one they have for their entire Nonprofit Organization: Changing lives through the power of work.

The History of the Excel Center

The Centers were started in 2010 with their first site in Indianapolis. They have since expanded to 14 Excel centers in Arkansas, Texas, Tennessee, and Washington D.C. The St. Louis, Missouri Excel Center joined their ranks in 2018 and have just graduated their first class of 6 students.

The Excel Center Perks

There are numerous reasons why attending school and finishing school are a challenge for you. If you are seeking more than a high school diploma, there are multiple ways the Excel Center works with you to achieve your goals. They are prepared to help you with life’s challenges and find a way to your diploma and beyond.

Free Tuition

As a student of the Goodwill Excel Center, you are given the opportunity to finish high school while earning college credits towards a certificate in an industry selected by you. This industry certificate will give you the chance to increase your earning potential so you leave the Goodwill Excel Center with more than a high school diploma. You will leave with the skills to get a job.

The Goodwill Excel Center

The excel center offers a flexible schedule to you with support staff and life coaches that help you build a path to follow while completing your education.

Free Drop-in Child Care

Being a parent is hard enough, but when you need someone to watch your child while you attend class, this can be a challenge. The Goodwill Excel Center offers free childcare with extended hours and year-round operation for student success.


Building a system for student success is a challenge. The St. Louis Center built its student success program to fit all kinds of students’ challenges.

Their Model

If a student enters the Goodwill Excel Center then you accept the challenge of an accelerated curriculum. The center provides you with free drop-in childcare, free transportation assistance and assistance balancing a schedule that includes work and school. The model you will be part of helps you learn at your own pace and develop a system that works for you.

You will be supported every step of the way by your teachers, staff, and classmates. The Center encourages students to work together and support each other for academic success. The model includes chances to discuss the challenges of school, life, and the real world. Together success is possible.

College Credits

Part of completing your high school diploma is taking classes to prepare you for a future career that will increase your earnings. The Center offers students a chance to work towards college credits and career certificates in a field chosen by the student.

These college credits are also transferable to other higher-level institutions you may choose to attend. This can help you achieve the goals that are outside of high school and help you get the job you deserve.

College Planning

While enrolled in a dual credit course load, you can also prepare for additional college courses if they choose to pursue more education after receiving their high school diploma. This career pathway helps you tackle the challenges of getting a high school diploma while preparing you to take your life and career further in a post-secondary educational setting.

Life Coaching

Life is not easy and a lot of the things you have had to deal with will hinder or slow your progress in life. When you enter the Goodwill Excel Center you are assigned a life coach. This Life Coach is trained to help you work out a path for success and who can be a compassionate ear while listening to you. Your reasons for dropping out of school are your own and they are there to help you overcome those reasons. They will help you stay motivated while guiding you down your individual education plan.

Google Classroom

A lot of your time and school work will be completed through the use of Google Classroom. Google Classroom is a free service developed by Google to help make learning more simple and organized. By using Google classroom you will be able to create documents such as a Google Doc and a Google Sheet.

You will be able to share these with your teacher and other students in the class through your Gmail account. You will be able to use Google Calendar to help you stay informed as to when your assignments are due and you are only allowed to join classes in which you have a private code so your work and your time are kept confidential and kept in the classroom.

Your schoolwork is submitted through Google Drive where your teacher can grade it. You will be able to upload photos and other documents as needed for your schoolwork. All communications for school work will go through a stream created in your Google Drive account. You will be able to track what is talked about and see what resources the teacher is providing to help you do your studying and your homework.

The Google Drive application is available on different mobile apps so you can access your work wherever you go including on the iOS and Android systems. This keeps the classroom with you on your Smart device and helps you do your work wherever you may be.

St. Louis Success Stories

There are numerous success stories from St. Louis, but their greatest one occurred on May 26, 2019. This is when the first class of the Goodwill Excel Center graduated. The current president and CEO of the goodwill Excel Center were so proud of the six students they were able to help in their first graduating class. The students were all excited to graduate because the St. Louis program for success was one that works with them and their life challenges.

How to Apply

To join the Excel Center as a student you must be a resident of the State of Missouri. You can have a GED or not, as your goal for enrolling is to get a high school diploma. The process for registration is simple for you and helpful for the Center. The registration process helps the Center understand what challenges you are facing so they can build a plan to help you find your way through your classes.

Staff Assistance

Once you have registered through this website our staff will contact you for more information to get your high school completion process underway. You will be able to register for any one of the four locations in Missouri for assistance in completing your diploma.

Prior High School Credits

When you register to continue your education through a Goodwill Center you will be able to work with a team of dedicated professionals that will see that any high school credits you have earned are transferred to their program so you won’t lose any credits you have earned and they will all be applied to your future diploma.

Problems Registering

If you have any problems registering or additional assistance is needed you can call (314) 982-8802 and they will be happy to help you on your way.

Earning a degree can be difficult for a lot of people. There are daily challenges to overcome and new ones occurring every day. You should have the tools and resources to get your diploma and make your life your own. By joining the Goodwill Center you will not only complete your education, but you will also find the tools to live your life the way you choose.