Memphis Goodwill announces plans to open Excel Center, a free charter school for adults

December 10, 2013 |

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     Memphis Goodwill, Inc., has announced plans to open a free public charter school for adults called the Excel Center, an educational program that offers drop-outs the chance to return to school and earn their high school diplomas.

     The Excel Center charter school model – created in 2010 by the Goodwill of Central Indiana – has been hugely successful in helping students 16 years and older return to school to earn high school credits, as well as post-secondary credits and/or job certifications. In less than three years, Central Indiana’s Excel Center has exploded from one campus with 300 students to nine campuses with 3,000 students, and 382 students have earned their high school diplomas.

    “Goodwill of Central Indiana has captured educational lightning in a bottle, and we believe the Excel Center can be a life-changing opportunity for Memphis, as well,” said Memphis Goodwill President & CEO Tony Martini. “We are working closely with the leaders in Central Indiana as we prepare our charter school application and plan for classes to begin in Fall 2015. We are indebted to CEO Jim McClelland; Scott Bess, Chief Operating Officer of Goodwill Education Initiatives; and  Eric Lange, director of Strategic Planning, for their valuable assistance in this process.”

     Memphis Goodwill will submit its charter school application in April 2014, with hopes of receiving the go-ahead by August 2014. Features of the Excel Center will include life coaches assigned to each student; free on-site child care for students with children while they are in class; accelerated school terms and the chance to earn multiple credits; and a focus on each students “next steps,” whether that is postsecondary education or vocational training and certifications. For more information, go to https://goodwillmemphis.org/excel-center,

     In the west Tennessee and north Mississippi area, Goodwill employs more than 770 people, many of whom face significant barriers to employment. For more information about Memphis Goodwill, store locations and hours, call (901) 323-6221 or visit www.goodwillmemphis.org.

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