60 Graduates will cross the stage at the Miller Theater on Thursday
Ned Helms, grandson of the college’s namesake and founder of Goodwill Industries Rev. Edgar Helms, will deliver the commencement address at its graduation ceremony scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday at the Miller Theater.
The 60 graduates from the August campus of Helms College are set to embark on career pathways in hospitality and the health sciences.
“I often wonder what my grandfather would say if he could see Goodwill today,” said Helms, who has more than 30 years of experience in health policy and politics. “But I think I know what he would say: ‘Don’t be satisfied until every person has the chance to reach their full potential.’ To be able to see this college named after him help people to do what he always wanted, for them to discover the fulness through work and education, is amazing.”
The U.S. Dept. of Education has encouraged Helms College to expand its model into new markets in light of evolution in higher education. The private, independent postsecondary career school sponsored by Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia and the CSRA, has campuses in Macon and Augusta.
CEO James Stiff noted it took 12 years and more than $20 million to make Helms College self-sustaining. With this investment and a sophisticated higher education infrastructure in place, he estimates a branch of Helms College could be established through other autonomous Goodwill organizations in less than two years.
“This is a way to lift thousands onto career pathways out of poverty toward a maximum of abundant living,” Stiff said.
Helms College offers accredited programs through its School of Health Services and School of Hospitality. Edgar’s Hospitality Group delivers applied learning opportunities for hospitality students through its conference centers, restaurants, private dining club, corporate dining venues, catering services and a soon-to-open terrace restaurant-bar. A School of Trades was recently launched and a School of Business-Technology is also planned.
“The path my grandfather walked on the streets of Boston in 1902 is the same one that has been walked all over the United States and in Canada and as far as Korea…leading to this place,” Helms said. “And the students have taken that path to open doors for their futures. I am so honored to be able to be down there to participate in this ceremony.”
About Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia and the CSRA
Goodwill industries of Middle Georgia, a non-profit 501(c)3 charity, builds lives, families and communities one career at a time by helping people develop their God-given gifts through education, work and career services. More than 86 cents of every dollar of Goodwill revenue underwrites job training and placement services within the agency’s 35-county service delivery area. Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia and the CSRA is accountable to a local Board of Directors, belongs to this community and is not owned by any individual or company.
About Helms College
Helms College, a private, independent postsecondary career school sponsored by Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia, Inc. and licensed by the Georgia Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission, offers accredited programs through its two hospitality schools and its School of Health Services. Helms College is an institution of higher education that provides a unique approach to experiential learning and career education. Named in honor of Rev. Edgar Helms, the founder of Goodwill Industries, Helms College creates opportunities for students to discover their strengths and build upon their knowledge, skills and attitudes through extensive integrative and experiential learning.