NEVER TOO LATE TO GRADUATE
VC Reporter: 3.21.2018 by Michael Sullivan
Tammy Marquez, 52, of Oxnard, a single mother of four, has seemed to have a bit of good luck most of her life, at least when it came to working without a high school diploma. Though she dropped out of high school her junior year at Chatsworth High School after getting pregnant, she was able to manage pretty well the next 30-plus years of her life. It wasn’t until her position doing wine club sales, where she worked for six years, was no longer available and she didn’t get one particular job because she lacked a high school diploma, that she decided it was time to tie up that loose end. She did so by enrolling in Ventura County Library’s Career Online High School.
“I signed up to get a GED but it was difficult to get to class,” Marquez said. “I heard about this online and jumped on it.”
Marquez, along with five others from around the county in caps and gowns, accepted her high school diploma in the Topping Room of the E.P. Foster Library on Tuesday, March 20, the first graduates of the program. The online high school, offered by Ventura County Library’s READ Adult Literacy Program in partnership with Gale, a Cengage Learning company, has been around for about two years and the program takes about 18 months to complete. Marquez plans to pursue an associate’s degree and work toward providing child care for people with special needs, drawing from personal experience of caring for her 20-year-old son who has Down’s syndrome.
For 15 years, Carol Chapman has been the coordinator of the READ Adult Literacy Program/ Community Engagement. When the California State Library offered an initiative to implement the online high school program, whereby the county library was able to buy and receive matching scholarships for students wanting to enroll, Chapman jumped on it. The library accumulated 35 scholarships, valued at $1,100 each; and currently there 29 students enrolled, six of whom just gradated. READ MORE >>