Lt. Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti joined Representative Joe Sosnowski, Representative John Cabello, and Goodwill officials at the Northern Illinois Goodwill to highlight the importance of high school diploma attainability for adults, and the benefits an Excel Center would bring to Illinois. This degree pathway program has proven successful in multiple other states, where adult graduates have been able to earn high school diplomas, career coursework, and achieve significantly higher wages. Implementation of a Rockford area Excel Center in partnership with Goodwill would help Illinois address educational disparities and spur economic growth. “An educational opportunity during my childhood changed the course of my life for the better,” said Lt. Governor Sanguinetti. “Age should not limit a person’s ability to pursue an educational pathway toward success. The Excel Center program has the potential to change the lives of many adults in the Rockford area and I thank Representative Sosnowski for working with me on this legislation.” In order to bring the Excel Center model to Illinois, the Illinois School Code must be amended to remove the current age restriction that prevents adults over the age of 21 who did not finish high school, from receiving a high school diploma. Representative Sosnowski’s (R-Rockford) legislation, HB2527, would remove this barrier for approved nonprofit entities that are in a partnership with regional superintendents of schools. Additionally, it will call for an ongoing relationship among Goodwill, regional education offices, the Illinois Community College Board, and the Illinois State Board of Education to help Rockford-area adults obtain a high school diploma.