First graduating class of Goodwill's Helms Academy in Camden

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First graduating class of Goodwill's Helms Academy in Camden. Alicia Vitarelli reports during Action News at 4 p.m. on June 28, 2018. (WPVI)

It was graduation day in Camden but these graduates are the first of their kind.

This is the first graduating class of the Goodwill's Helms Academy, a completely tuition-free program offering adults a rare chance to finally get high school diploma.

Goodwill says every year about a million students drop out of high school, and often have a hard time finding a place or a way to finish that schooling.

So the non-profit, community-based organization started its own academy.

Goodwill uses revenue from the sale of donated items in its local retail stores to fund The Helms Academy.

Goodwill also partners with local institutions like Camden County College and Drexel University, allowing the students to not only get their high school diplomas but also earn up to 30 college credits at the same time.

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