Goodwill Central Texas

Organizational Overview

Goodwill Central Texas
1015 Norwood Park Blvd
Austin, Texas 78753

Mission Statement

"Generating Lifelong Connections to Work."

That's the mission of Goodwill Central Texas, and when you support our initiatives, you are changing the lives of people in our community. We serve individuals and families who are traditionally underserved: people who are undereducated, people facing homelessness, people with criminal backgrounds, and people with disabilities.

Through education, professional certifications, and career-advancement training, Goodwill Central Texas equips individuals with the skills and knowledge to get the job they love and develop fulfilling careers. A career can lift families out of poverty, and create long-lasting generational change.

Together, we're shaping the future of Central Texas.

It's all about the "little things": the children! Goodwill listens to the needs of our community, then we evolve to meet those needs. When our adult high school students needed childcare to go back to school, we provided basic daycare. When we saw an opportunity to elevate the educational futures of whole families, we opened our free, onsite licensed childcare and education center - The Exploration Center. Today, The Exploration Center is flourishing, but many of our student parents have their children on a waiting list!

We need YOU to continue the work of changing the lives of our neighbors in Central Texas. Your gift will support an expansion of The Exploration Center so we can provide childcare and educational services to even more children. By offering infant to 5-year-old Pre-K education through The Exploration Center, we're ensuring these little ones are given the same opportunities as other children, no matter their circumstances, when they begin kindergarten.

And that's a "big thing" for our smallest Central Texans.

Impact Statement

The Goodwill Excel Center experienced a wonderful 2016, with 131 graduates, increasing the total of new high school diploma holders in the Austin area to 181! In 2017, we hope to increase this number by yet another 100 graduates. Exciting things are happening every day at our adult high school, and many of our graduates have moved on to secondary education or have received certifications in high-demand industries and are well on their way to a career that they love.

Needs Statement

Having more students means serving more families. Many of our adult students have children and need assistance with childcare while they are in school. That's why we originally opened The Goodwill Exploration Center! This free, onsite, licensed childcare facility is essential for many of our student parents so they can complete their high school diploma.

But our Exploration Center currently is full, and has a waiting list twice the existing class size! There is clear, expressed need from parents who want their high school diploma and want their children to be set up for success! With your generous donation, we can fund the expansion of The Goodwill Exploration Center and increase our impact on the Central Texas community. We're asking for your help to make this a reality!

Your Amplify Austin gift will communicate your clear support for generational change through robust educational opportunities for both parent and child. It will contribute to their growth and discovery, laying a firm foundation for continued learning and lifelong success.

Your contribution will make a BIG difference for our little ones!

"Without The Goodwill Exploration Center, I wouldn't have been able to come back to school."
- Sheila

Sheila wanted to go back to school, but with two children under the age of four, the cost of childcare was overwhelming. When she discovered The Goodwill Excel Center had a free, onsite, licensed childcare facility, she was thrilled. Her journey to graduation began with her children close by, and in good hands.

Sheila was a teenage mother, and a senior when she dropped out of high school. For years she regretted that she hadn't found a way to finish. "I did what I had to do," says Sheila. "You go to work to provide for your kids. But you get so busy with life - with work and kids - that before you know it, years have gone by. When was I going to do something to improve myself?"

The answer came when the company she was working for closed down and she was awarded unemployment. She knew then that there was no excuse to not go back to school. But who would take care of the children? "The expense of childcare is the number one thing that stops most parents from doing a lot of things in life," said Sheila. "I was no exception."

The Goodwill Excel Center was the answer. "They offered free childcare onsite, so the kids would be taken care of while I was in class." Sheila smiled. "Everything fit into place!"

There was one little snag. When she had her newborn, Kennen, there was a waiting list to get into The Exploration Center. They'd simply run out of room, and could not admit any more children. "My mom took care of Kennen during that time, until my name came up on the list." Not all of our students are so lucky to have a backup childcare option.

We know that the reason many people go back to school is to better themselves and their families. They are choosing a better life, and influencing their children to strive for more.

Because of this, the demand for The Exploration Center has skyrocketed, and many parent/students have children that have been put on a waiting list. The expansion of the Center is the answer. Not only will we be able to provide for these student/parents, we'll be able to ensure their children get a FREE high quality education program that focuses on preparing them for Kindergarten.

"It all worked out for me," says Sheila. "Some students with children graduated, and I got Kennen into the Center. My son Micah is really excited about school - he's four years old and can write and spell his name, and is learning to read! And I'm looking forward to graduation, and deciding which college I'd like to attend."

Please Amplify our Exploration Center expansion at Goodwill Central Texas, and be a part of this generational change. Your donation will create a better future for our next generation of Central Texans!
Volunteers are a vital part of Goodwill's work to empower people to transform their lives through lifelong connections to work. Please review the opportunity details below. If you have follow up questions, please contact Jessica Camarillo at or call (512) 637-7198.

Excel Center Mentor - We are currently recruiting well-established professionals from a variety of industries to volunteer as mentors to our adult high school students. This is a minimum of an 8 week commitment that includes attending weekly, hour-long classes on a very regular basis, completing a fingerprinted background check, and being comfortable facilitating group discussions with students from diverse backgrounds.
Students who benefited from the Goodwill mentor program were almost 30% more likely to graduate high school than non-Goodwill students and 18% more likely to attend college.
If you are interested in learning more, please contact Jalanda Blackmon at or (512) 748-1354

CAT Program - Our Workforce Advancement department holds Career Advancement Trainings (CAT) which help our program participants solidify their time management, communication, computer, and financial literacy skills. We are looking for volunteers to assist participants during the training. Classes are held Monday through Friday, 9am to 4pm

GreenWorks - Goodwill cares deeply for the earth. Thanks to these amazing volunteers, we diverted 285 tons of e-waste from landfills in one year! Groups of 5-15 volunteers take 2 to 3 hours to disassemble donated computers for re-use and recycling. This can be a one-time event or a reoccurring opportunity. Please contact Jessica Camarillo at to schedule your group at least 2 weeks in advance of your desired date.
Amount: $5,000
Sponsored By: Higginbotham Insurance & Financial Services

Our Kids Need Your Help!

Join companies like Higginbotham in supporting Goodwill Central Texas and the children of The Exploration Center during Amplify Austin!

Curtis Page, Managing Director at Higginbotham, has announced the company will match up to $5,000 of donations made during Amplify Austin, March 2nd - 3rd!

With this financial commitment from Higginbotham, we are on our way to continue expansion of The Goodwill Exploration Center, our licensed childcare center located within The Goodwill Excel Center. The Goodwill Excel Center is the first high school in the State of Texas where adults over the age of 26 can earn their high school diploma, and serves adults ages 17-50. By providing The Exploration Center program, parents are able to return to high school to earn their high school diploma, while their children benefit from immersion in a play-based early childhood curriculum.

The Exploration Center not only provides on-site childcare for our high school students, it ensures a FREE high quality education program that focuses on preparing children for Kindergarten. This is life changing for the families we serve.

The need is clear; currently, there are more than thirty parents on the waiting list for The Exploration Center who cannot return to school until they have reliable access to childcare. Your donation, coupled with the matching gift from Higginbotham, will grant even more adult students the opportunity to enroll in The Excel Center.

Every donation counts, as we work towards transforming educational initiatives for all Central Texans that need them. Donate TODAY - our future leaders thank you!