Southern Oklahoma Library System Celebrates Its First Graduate

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| By Natalie Garrison, Southern Oklahoma Library System |

A ceremony to recognize the first graduate from the Gale Presents: Excel Adult High School online program was held on Tuesday, January 10, 2023, at the Healdton Community Library. This program is provided by the Southern Oklahoma Library System (SOLS) in partnership with Gale to provide adult learners a second chance at earning a high school education at no cost to the student. Representatives from SOLS spoke at the event about Jenifer Adams and Excel Adult High School. Adams received her diploma while wearing her cap and gown among friends, family, community members from the Healdton area, and SOLS board members.

“When I was going through the courses in this program, I wanted to show my family, friends, and our community that you can do anything,” said Adams. “The best advice I gave myself and everyone who wants to achieve this accomplishment is to never give up.”

Adams was a dedicated patron of the Healdton Community Library from a young age. Regretfully, she dropped out of school at the beginning of her junior year. Adams always wanted to go back and get her diploma (not a GED), but marriage and three kids took up all her time. She was told about the Excel Adult High School program by Branch Manager Lori Ratliff and was encouraged by her family to apply. When Adams signed up for this program, she was working and in the process of building a new home, along with taking care of three kids. Adams appreciated this chance to get a real diploma and is thankful for the opportunity that was given to her by SOLS. Now that Adams has her diploma, she plans to get a medical assistant degree from Southern Tech.

“We celebrate with Jenifer and her family on this successful endeavor,” said Gail Oehler, executive director of the Southern Oklahoma Library System. “Understanding the dedication it takes was evident as we watched Jenifer receive her diploma. We hope others in this program will be inspired by Jenifer and realize the possibilities they can obtain through the library.”

Funding for the pilot is courtesy of funds from the U.S. Department of Labor under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, along with American Rescue Plan Act funds through the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Learn how your library can change lives by helping adults earn their accredited diploma online through Gale Presents: Excel Adult High School.

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