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A 67-year-old resumes journey towards earning his high school diploma

A 67-year-old man gets to fulfill his life goal and earn a high school diploma at The Goodwill Excel Center.

Saint Louis —

A 67-year-old saint Louis man is excited to step back into the classroom and earn his high school diploma at the Goodwill Excell Center.

“It would be a great thing if we both can exchange any ideas or study together,” Ed Benion said. “We can even hang both of our diplomas on the wall, it would be great.”

He dropped out of Soldan High School in 1967 to pursue a full-time music career. After nearly a decade on the road, Benion began his 30-year career in law enforcement.

He’s excited for the opportunity to finish what he started so many decades ago.

Antrianna Evans wishes said she wished she would’ve graduated from Vashon High School when she was a student. But in 2011 she was forced to put the books on the back burner due circumstances outside of the classroom.

On October 24, these two students and nearly 400 more will be filling classrooms eager to earn a high school diploma.

Goodwill’s headquarters are located at Locust and 18th streets.

As students work towards their high school diploma, they will simultaneously be earning college credit.

Each student is assigned a life coach to help students overcome issues that may delay or prevent them from graduating.

Missouri is the 6th state where Excel Centers are in operation. 200 students will be attending the Poplar Bluff and Springfield locations according to a spokesperson with Goodwill. A campus in Columbia is expected to open in the fall of 2019.

Across the country Excel Centers are graduating nearly 70 percent of their students.

The last day to register for class is October 26.

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