2023 Goodwill's Helms Academy Graduation - Goodwill Industries of New Jersey and Philadelphia

2023 Goodwill’s Helms Academy Graduation

More than 30 adult learners recently accepted their high school diplomas to the sounds of pomp and circumstance at Goodwill’s Helms Academy graduation ceremony.  Held at the Camden County Boathouse, the event was celebrated by students, their families and Goodwill’s staff and Board of Trustees. 

For many, going to high school isn’t a simple four-year journey.  Life can throw you a curve ball and temporarily knock you off your path. Goodwill’s Helms Academy provides a 100% tuition free adult education program to do exactly this while simultaneously earning up to 30 college credits.

Forty-five-year-old Angela returned to school after separating from her husband.  With two children to care for, she knew having a high school diploma would open opportunities in her life.  In speaking at the graduation ceremony, she shared how difficult it was to pass the last HiSET exam.  “Follow your dreams.  It doesn’t matter how many times you fall but rather how many times you get up.  No dream is too high.  Keep going!” Angela said.

Luis dropped out of high school at age 16.  He had a rare heart arrhythmia that caused him to miss a lot of school and develop severe anxiety.  When his son was born, his desire to finish up what he started kicked into high gear. Between working, parenting and studying, it took incredible discipline to commit to earning his diploma.  But Luis pushed through—even earning the overall highest score on the HiSET exam!   In his remarks to classmates, Luis said, “Dressed in our caps and gowns today we are celebrating attaining our degrees as well as the formidable determination that got us here today.  Discipline and tenacity led us here.  We are building better futures for our babies. Be proud and carry this same ideology through life and you will thrive.”

Your donations and purchases at Goodwill fund The Helms Academy and many other career building programs.  If you would like more information on Goodwill’s adult education program, please visit www.helmsacademy.org.