Walorski Highlights Local Initiative in Hearing on How Young Adults Can Break the Cycle of Poverty
The Excel Center, a Goodwill Program, Offers Hoosier Adults Opportunity to Earn Their High School Diploma
WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today at a hearing of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Human Resources highlighted The Excel Center in South Bend, a Goodwill of Northern Indiana program bringing better opportunities to Hoosiers.
The hearing, entitled “Opportunities for Youth and Young Adults to Break the Cycle of Poverty,” included testimony from Jameela Roland, a recent graduate of Year Up, a nationwide program similar to The Excel Center. In asking Roland about her experience, Walorski pointed to The Excel Center’s emphasis on adapting to students’ needs to best equip them for a successful career, whether that means job training and certification or college preparation.
“Goodwill of Northern Indiana, they talk about ‘career and college,’ not ‘college and career,’ and I think when we can start breaking that mindset and setting young people free, they don’t have to go with that one mode or one model,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “Initiatives like the Excel Center in my District or Year Up that you’ve been involved in, they’re locally driven, they adapt to individuals, they are what make that bridge out of poverty.”
Video of the hearing, including Walorski’s questions, is available here.
The hearing highlighted how innovative solutions, rather than one-size-fits-all approaches, are helping young Americans ages 16 to 24 break the cycle of poverty and move up the economic ladder.
According to data from Opportunity Nation, 17 percent of youth ages 16 to 24 in Indiana’s 2nd District are neither in school nor working – higher than the national average of 13.2 percent. Local organizations like Goodwill of Northern Indiana provide youth and young adults opportunities to enter the workforce and achieve their full potential.
The Excel Center is a free, public school where adults can earn a high school diploma, college credits, industry certifications, and on-the-job training. The program provides individualized services, including life coaches, child care, transportation assistance, and flexible schedules to ensure successful outcomes.
Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.