Public library smallest in state to offer program
On October 8, the Sulphur Springs Public Library celebrated the third, fourth and fifth graduates of Career Online High School in front of family and friends.
Sulphur Springs Public Library stated they are “very proud to be one of the first six libraries in Texas to offer adults the opportunity to earn an accredited high school diploma through Career Online High School.”
Sulphur Springs Public Library is the smallest community in the state to offer such a program. To date, more than 144 libraries in 17 states across the country offer this program.
Nineteen percent of adults living in the city of Sulphur Springs lack a high school diploma, according to 2017 census records.
“There are many reasons that students are not able to complete a high school education in a traditional timeframe,” Hope Cain, director of Sulphur Springs Public Library, stated. “A young person may be pushed out of school with discipline, grade or social issues, or pulled out of school with overwhelming family needs or financial job responsibilities. Either way, this results in educational trauma for the student. The fear of failure makes it nearly impossible to re-engage in school or GED testing at a later date.”
All three graduates completed their high school diplomas and an Office Management certifications.The graduates are:
Pamela Daniels has three children including a newborn son and three grandchildren.
Upon beginning the program, Daniels had no high school credits to transfer and began the process of taking all 14 courses and four career courses.
According to Cain, Daniels had “personal issues that held her back at times,” but she kept at her school in the late evenings. Twenty-three months later, she is here and sees her goals as something she can face head-on, Cain said.
Daniels’ advice to other students is to never give up, no matter what.
Marquasha Hawkins completed most of her high school classes successfully and was able to transfer 11 of the required 18 classes into the program, which shortened her 18-month class time to 11 months.
She has four children plus one on the way, as well as an extended family in Sulphur Springs and lots of support.
During high school, according to Cain, Hawkins had failed the TAKS math test repeatedly.
“A diploma could open so many doors for me. I want to be an example to my children and show them that education is important,” Hawkins stated.
She has plans for college in the medical/nursing field.
Heather Miller was a B and C student in high school and walked her high school graduation stage empty-handed because of unfinished credits and failing to pass the TAKS test, according to Cain. She tried numerous times to retake the TAKS and even went for GED tutoring, but each time, math was the only thing that held her back, Cain explained.
Although she still does not like math, Miller passed the courses of COHS in eight months with good grades and a sense of accomplishment, Miller said.
“I have to do it; no one is going to do it for me,” Miller said.
Miller has two children, a girl and a boy, who are very proud of their mom.
Sulphur Springs Public Library was pleased to honor these women in their commitment and success in completing this program and wishes them the best of luck in the future, according to a release.