| By Sydney Fairman |
On Saturday, Oct. 27, 10 adults from the St. Louis area walked across a stage at the St. Louis County Library to receive their diploma from Career Online High School. Career Online High School is a self-paced, accredited online high school diploma for adults age 19 and over, in which scholarships cover the thousand dollar cost per person.
Currently, there are approximately 90,000 adults over the age of 25 in the St. Louis region without high school diplomas. Director of St. Louis County Library Kristen Sorth said this is what inspired her, St. Louis County, City Public Library Foundations and library staff to take action and start the program in January. While students are given 18 months to complete their coursework and earn their degree, many of the students were “very motivated to get finished as soon as possible.”
“They’ve waited a really long time for a high school diploma and they don’t want to wait any longer,” Sorth said. “They have gone incredibly fast and worked very, very hard to get to this moment.”
Now, there are 10 less adults without high school diplomas in the area. Additionally, a representative from St. Louis Community College surprised the graduates with a scholarship for three free credit hours of college.
Jacoby Ford wept as she gave her valedictorian address, saying:
“It was hard, but I did achieve it. We can finally go to jobs and say, ‘I have my high school diploma.’”
To learn more about offering this life-changing program to your community, visit gale.com/diploma.
BANNER IMAGE: Wiley Price/The St. Louis American. Members of St. Louis County Library’s inaugural Career Online High School Graduation Class