It’s Never Too Late to Graduate

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| Originally published on VC Reporter |

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. Marquez plans to pursue an associate’s degree and work toward providing childcare for people with special needs, drawing from the personal experience of caring for her 20-year-old son who has Down’s syndrome.

“Once in the program, students are assigned a mentor online. One of our learners, the biggest help for him was only reading the text material and it also could be read to him. When reading it to him, he read along and it was easier for him to focus and he was grateful.”

—Carol Chapman, coordinator, READ Adult Literacy Program/Community Engagement

To learn more about Career Online High School, visit

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