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  • Goodwill Acadiana

Dreams, Determination, and a Diploma

Kendrick Francis in his graduation cap and gown
Kendrick Francis in his graduation cap and gown

At the age of 21, Kendrick Francis graduated with a Certificate of Achievement from Crowley High School (Class of 2016).  Kendrick has autism and did not have enough regular education credits to receive his high school diploma. He dreamed of continuing his education, but would need a diploma in order to do so. The month following his graduation, Kendrick entered Goodwill Industries of Acadiana’s Adult Education class in Crowley to begin preparing to take the High School Equivalency Test (HiSET).

         Kendrick attended class for a year before he began his HiSET practice tests. He began testing in August of 2017 with the Reading Language/Essay test. Kendrick would take his HiSET tests one at a time in order to focus on the areas he needed the most help with. His first challenge was to write the essay, which he was able to accomplish using an outline he learned in class.  His next challenge was to increase the speed and accuracy of using a keyboard to type out an essay, something that had been a major struggle for him. He continued to practice under the guidance of his instructor. Once he was prepared, Kendrick’s HiSET test date was set. He passed the essay/language portion of the test and was ready to move on to the remaining sections.

         Kendrick completed his reading, social studies and science tests successfully, but struggled with the math portion. Beginning in January of 2018, the instructors re-evaluated his weak performance on previous tests and began to re-teach those skills.  During this time, Kendrick remained positive and cooperative.  Kendrick worked on improving his math skills from January through March, coming to class 3 or 4 days each week. After working with Kendrick throughout this process, one of Goodwill’s instructors recognized that Kendrick may do better in math if he took that portion on paper as opposed to the computer. Kendrick was scheduled for a paper retest on March 23, 2018.

          On March 30th, 2018 the instructor and Kendrick were notified that Kendrick passed his HiSET math test. Within a few days of the notification, Kendrick received his High School Equivalency Diploma in the mail. On Thursday, May 10th, Kendrick was one of nine Goodwill graduates to participate in the SLCC Adult Education graduation program in Lafayette.  It was a proud moment for his teacher, parents, siblings and family. He has had a nearly two-year journey toward getting this diploma.  Never did he once say he was going to give up, and he was always open to whatever was asked of him.  He will do well with his future endeavors and we wish him the best of luck!

Instructor Susan Dollison poses with HiSET graduate Kendrick Francis and his graduation balloons
Instructor Susan Dollison poses with HiSET graduate Kendrick Francis

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