Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Los Angeles Public Library :: Graduation - Career Online High School

Graduation By Brian Cunningham, project coordinator
READ:  Spring 2016
Adult Literacy Services | Changing lives one chapter at a time.
A newsletter written by students and tutors

In January the library held the inaugural ceremony in honor of our first graduates from Career Online High School. I had never met most of these students in person, so it was a treat to finally come face to face with them.  

Graduate Angie Velasquez gave a beautiful speech, recounting the personal and professional growth she attributes to COHS. The career certificate she received in Office Management, in addition to her diploma, inspired her to pursue a career in Human Resources. She is currently attending Harbor College and applying what she learned in her courses to make improvements at her current place of work.

In addition to our own John Szabo, we also had a few guest speakers, including Mayor Eric Garcetti, State Librarian Greg Lucas, and Board of Library Commissioner President Bich Ngoc Cao. Each of them shared powerful and inspiring speeches; we learned that the Mayor’s grandfather had been a barber, as he referenced one of our graduates currently enrolled in barber college.

We are grateful for the generous support of the Library Foundation and the California State Library. There are currently 34 graduates and many more students are approaching the finish line. Between the press we received and the family members who were inspired to apply for the program as a result of the ceremony, I am proud to say there seems to be more interest in Career Online High School than ever before. 

A New High School Graduate By literacy coordinator Janis Risch
Holly Maidens knew that she wanted to complete her GED and she found out about the LA Public Library’s Adult Literacy Program in late 2013. She hoped working with a tutor would help her to achieve that goal. She was matched with a tutor in early 2014. Her tutor helped Holly to improve her reading skills and also built up her confidence by offering ongoing encouragement. Soon after Holly started in the library’s program, the library introduced the Career Online High School (COHS) and Janis Risch, the Literacy Coordinator for the West Valley, told Holly about it. She began the COHS program in the spring of 2014 and, with her hard work and the encouragement of others, she completed her coursework and earned her high school diploma and career certificate on June 25, 2015. Holly liked the online learning environment because it allowed her to work at her own pace as her busy schedule permitted. She really liked the visible cues given by the program (checkmarks) as she progressed through the coursework. Her academic coach was ready to help her with any computer issues or questions about the lessons.

Holly is now in her third semester at Pierce College. She is taking General Education classes in preparation for transferring to California State University-Northridge where she will major in Psychology. Her long term goal is to become a social worker who works with special needs families and links them with resources.  READ MORE @

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