LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – It’s moving day at The Excel Center.
“We’re really excited about getting all of this furniture set up and getting it ready for classes,” The Excel Center School Director Greg Wertenberger said.
The 12 classrooms will soon be filled with furniture as part of The Excel Center’s expansion. Once it’s finished, staff will be ready to welcome a new set of adults looking to earn their high school diploma.
“There’s really not another school like us in the state of Arkansas,” Wertenberger said.
The Excel Center is the first adult high school in Arkansas. It offers year-round schedules with eight-week terms to help students earn their diplomas faster. Goodwill Industries of Arkansas runs the school.
“We know that high school is never easy. It’s even more challenging as an adult when you’re balancing the responsibilities of family life, parenthood, working,” Wertenberger said.
The expanded facility will allow the center to serve up to 350 students. Many, who hope to follow in Reuah Hilton’s footsteps.
“I feel that this has opened the door for me to have a better life,” Hilton said.
She was supposed to graduate in 1988, but needed a half credit for American history. She attempted to take the course online through a college, but then life happened.
“I became pregnant and became a mother and so that’s what stopped me from graduating,” Hilton said.
Fast forward 32 years later and Hilton is set to finally earn her high school diploma, thanks to The Excel Center and a push from her sons.
“My children are my difference maker,” Hilton said.
Because The Excel Center has made a difference in the lives of 43 adult graduates, Rainwater, Holt & Sexton gave the center its Difference Makers award and a $1,000 donation.
“This money that we’re receiving, along with this award, will go a long way in helping that we continue to provide necessary equipment for our students,” Wertenberger said.
The school does not receive any federal or state funding.
The Excel Center is currently accepting applications for the next term, which will begin in February.