A dozen San Diego residents received their high school diploma at the Central Library Friday after graduating from the City’s Career Online High School, an accredited online high school diploma and certificate program. The number of graduates has more than tripled since Mayor Kevin Faulconer started the program last year.
“What these students have achieved is incredible and I am so proud of their accomplishment, and we are proud that the San Diego Public Library could be part of it through the Career Online High School program,” said Library Director Misty Jones. “We strive to provide opportunities for everyone and these students are a testament to what can be achieved when an opportunity arises.”
City employee Cindy Juarez, one of the graduates, dropped out of high school in 10th grade to work in construction.
“It was always in the back of my mind, for years,” said Cindy Juarez. “I wish that I had done it sooner.”
She plans to enroll in community college to advance her career in the City’s Public Utilities Department.
54 students are currently enrolled in the program, and they have the ability to take classes online and receive free support and educational resources from the library.
“Public libraries are the backbone of a neighborhood,” said Councilmember Chris Cate. “At our libraries, new parents connect at infant story-times, school-based youth have a safe place to study, adults receive a second chance to earn a high school diploma, and our seniors attend classes to interact with one another. When we invest in our libraries, we invigorate our communities.”
Unemployment is double for adults over 25 who don’t have a high school degree, around 15 percent of San Diego’s population. Many students complete the program within six months.
“Today’s graduation shows how libraries truly change lives, and Gale is proud to work with San Diego Public Library to empower residents,” said Chuck Leachman, Executive Director for Strategic Accounts at Gale, a publisher that provides ebooks and online resources to libraries.