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The Goodwill Learning Academy

by Robin Mitchell

Dear Excel Center Supporters,

We are writing to provide you with an update on the Excel Center and its potential presence in Rochester, New York. Your ongoing support has been pivotal in our endeavors, and we appreciate your dedication to our cause. As you may know, we are diligently working to secure the necessary legislative backing to bring the Excel Center to our community. This month, we have a scheduled meeting with our Assembly and Senate sponsors, along with our local Regents, to discuss the project and the path forward in the 2024 legislative session.

The journey has been met with its fair share of challenges, and the pace of progress is frustrating for all concerned. However, our commitment to positive and forward-thinking approaches remains unwavering as we strive to make the Excel Center a reality in our state. In the meantime, it has become evident that there is a pressing need to extend our services to the more than 38,000 working-age adults in Monroe County without a high school diploma and furthermore, the countless adults with an incomplete education. Collaboration with other adult education providers has highlighted the low persistence rates among adult learners, often due to barriers such as childcare, transportation, and employment demands.

The cornerstone of the Excel Center's success is our dedicated coaches. These professionals offer invaluable support, helping students overcome obstacles and stay committed to their educational goals. We are pleased to share that with our board's approval, we are taking a significant step by hiring our first coach. While we may not be able to use the Excel Center name just yet, we are excited to introduce the "Goodwill Learning Academy." This academy will serve as a bridge to the Excel Center, offering similar support and guidance. The Goodwill Learning Academy's primary objective this year is to provide barrier removal support to students, assisting them in choosing a career pathway with connections to reading and math remediation and ensuring their persistence through regular mentorship and goal setting. Over the coming weeks, you will see changes to our website and communications that clearly detail this vision and the work that we will be doing.

Your continued support is the foundation of our progress, and we are grateful for your belief in the power of education. We remain steadfast in our mission to bring the Excel Center to this community and are excited to take this first step in demonstrating our commitment to serving these individuals.

Thank you as always for your support.