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From Court Appearances to Basic Training: How Goodwill's HiSET Program Helped Shape a Life


Jay dropped out of high school and began getting into trouble in the streets of his hometown, appearing in court several times. He enrolled in an adult education class at a local school, but stopped attending after a while. Jay’s mother called Goodwill’s services department after hearing good things about the HiSET preparation courses. This decision turned out to be a pivotal moment in her son's life.

     At first, Jay ‘s attendance wasn’t up to par, as he showed up for classes sporadically. Our services staff started coordinating with Jay’s mother regarding his attendance. Having accountability helped and Jay started to regularly attend class.

     Our staff noticed one day that Jay seemed distraught. They asked him if something was going on in his life and he confided in them that he was meeting with his parole officer that day and he had not attempted to complete his court-mandated community service hours. Jay told his parents about it, but they wanted him to deal with the consequences of his actions.

     Having connections with the local District Attorney’s office, one of our staff members arranged a meeting between Jay and the DA’s office. Jay felt comfortable and safe enough to ask one of our staff members to join in on the meeting. The meeting resulted in Jay being assigned community service hours at the D.A.’s office, which was a good fit for his personality as he worked better with supervision and accountability. This meeting was a turning point for Jay because he was treated as an adult and was forced to deal with his own consequences.

     The meeting changed his attitude about life, and he came to class with a determination and a desire to change his life. Jay decided he wanted to join the military, but to do so, he would need to earn his high school equivalency diploma. After 3 months, Jay had completed and passed all parts of his test and enlisted in the U.S. Army.

     Jay recently graduated from basic training and his mother credits Goodwill’s Adult Education program as the reason he is on the right track. The staff did not treat Jay as a number or just another face. They took the time to get to know him, to understand where he needed help, and to connect him with the right people. The extra effort put in by our services crew made all the difference in Jay’s life. This is the mission of Goodwill. This is why we exist and do what we do every day, but we couldn't do it without our donors and shoppers. Thank you Acadiana for making a difference!

For more information regarding our HiSET program call our services department at 337-769-7650

*Name changed to keep anonymity

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