Local Graduates Join Thousands in New Trend

Program bolsters students and the local economy
By Tracie Popma
December 7, 2018
Go forth and change the world.”
These are among many words of encouragement offered to this year’s graduating class of our Career Online High School (COHS).

On the evening of Thursday, September 27, the graduates’ friends and family members gathered in the Tsakopoulos Library Galleria to celebrate the achievement of earning a high school diploma. Walking the stage that night to shake the hand of our library director were Loise and Faimu and Marish, who are a couple.

“Loise is an example of the resilience of our graduates,” explained Anita Dash, the library associate who helps to facilitate our COHS program. “She had a baby boy while doing her online classes and didn’t let the very important work of caring for her happy, healthy baby boy derail her from her goal — and now she’s in her first semester of college.”COHS graduates posed for a group photo in caps and gowns

While Loise earned her degree to support her son, Faiumu and Marish earned theirs to support each other. Marish started the program and, when Faiumu saw his success, she enrolled too.

“We see this kind of motivation over and over,” said Anita. People see their friends and family enjoying the success of earning their high school diplomas and want to do the same. One graduate can have a positive effect that ripples throughout their communities.”

According to Gale, the company that developed COHS and brought it to libraries, the program does more than just help the student. Throughout the lifetime of just one graduate, an additional $73,125 will be contributed in local, state and federal taxes. COHS bolsters the local economy in which it’s found.

More than 100 libraries offer COHS in the United States. Since its inception in 2014, more than 1,551 people have graduated from the program. Nearly 2,300 are actively pursuing their diplomas. Next week, we’ll celebrate our 100th graduate.