“Unlikely pairing providing great results for community”
Belvidere, IL – Goodwill Industries of Northern Illinois began operating the GoodGRADS GED program in the Rockford region in 2013 and, in 2021, decided to expand the program to Boone County due to the needs of the community. This expansion led to the partnership with The Salvation Army who provided a community center to house the program. This unlikely pairing has produced results.
In 2022, GOODGrads in Boone County served 32 students with eight students graduating by the end of the year. The program has now expanded to provide both morning and afternoon classes. Jessica Gonzales, Associate Director of Goodwill’s Mission Services states, “We are so grateful for the opportunity to not only serve the Boone County community through our GED classes, but we are fortunate to have amazing community partners such as the Salvation Army to assist us in breaking down barriers and bringing needed services to the community.”
Additionally, by collaborating, Goodwill has been able to refer students in need of other services, including food and housing, to the Salvation Army Community Center & Social Services serving Boone County since 1888.
“The Salvation Army Church and Community Center in Belvidere has been happy to share their facilities with Goodwill to expand the GED classes”, said Major Marcelo Orbe, Corps Officer of the Belvidere Salvation Army.
Goodwill’s GoodGRADS program is open to students of all GED levels. The GoodGRADS program helps students prepare and take the GED exam, provides one-on-one training with small class sizes, and offers students scholarships to pay for testing. Classes are free and enrollment is currently open.
For more information or to enroll in Goodwill’s GoodGRADS program, please call (815) 965-3795 or email GED@goodwillni.org.