Aurora Free High School for Adults Created by Goodwill of Colorado | Westword

Reader: A Free High School With Free Daycare Is Great for People Who Need It

The Goodwill Excel Center will open in Aurora in August.
Adults who didn't finish high school will have the chance to get their diploma for free at a new Goodwill Excel Center in Aurora.
Adults who didn't finish high school will have the chance to get their diploma for free at a new Goodwill Excel Center in Aurora. Bennito L. Kelty
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Adults who couldn't finish their high school education will have a second chance to earn their diploma and improve their job options at the new Goodwill Excel Center, a tuition-free school meant to boost the local workforce. "Currently in Colorado, there's over 300,000 individuals without a high school diploma or GED," says James Sanchez, the president of career development services at Goodwill of Colorado. "Right here in the Aurora area, there's somewhere between 30,000 and 50,000."

Excel Centers are adult high schools meant to develop the local workforce. During the past decade and a half, Goodwill has opened 41 Excel Centers in nine different states and Washington, D.C. Colorado is one of four states where new centers are opening; the location in Aurora, at 15445 East Iliff Avenue, opens on August 5 and will be the state's first.

The adult high school will operate with the help of $4.7 million from the Colorado Department of Education, which will be spread out over three and a half years. Goodwill of Colorado is using roughly $2.4 million of its own money to renovate and equip the site, which used to be Reign Church. Only adults ages 22 and older can enroll, but everything the school offers is free, including tuition and the daycare that will be in the school.

In their comments on the Westword Facebook post, most readers give Goodwill extra credit for this concept. Says Cora:
Well, that's a great idea.
Adds Dave: 
I feel better about Goodwill now.
Wonders Shaun: 
Is this why Goodwill prices stuff like a consignment store now?
Comments Taunya: 
I think you could just put it back into the school system itself instead of building a separate high school. How many adults are actually out there who need a full high school to go and get their diploma? Especially since most of them do it online now as it is. What is the true demand, when you could be helping the surrounding schools around all your stores that actually need help? I'm not getting the reason why this needs to be a thing. And I have adults in my family who studied, got their GED and still want to college.
Responds Naomi: 
The GED is expensive to get here. You have to pay per subject and then pay for the test. A free high school with free daycare is great for people who don't have the financial option for it.
Adds Dee: 
Some places also discriminate between a GED and a diploma.
And Matt concludes:
 High school for adults sounds like an oxymoron
What do you think about the Goodwill Excel Center concept? Post a comment or share your thoughts at [email protected].
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