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A Second Chance for a High School Diploma

Cassandra Denneson’s junior year of high school was a tough. That year, her family moved to San Diego from Ohio and she broke her foot. She could not attend school and was doing her school work from home. When she turned 18 and still could not attend school, her high school recommended Cassandra attend an adult education program.

Cassandra planned to earn her GED but between working and raising her newly born son it proved difficult. The high school diploma she wanted was put on hold.

That was until Cassandra heard about the San Diego Public Library’s Career Online High School. This innovative program offers adult learners a chance to earn a nationally-accredited high school diploma while also preparing for a career in one of eight high-demand, high grown fields. The program offers the flexibility of taking classes online while also receiving support and free educational resources at their local library.

More than 205,000 San Diegans (15 percent of the population) age 25 and older do not have a high school diploma. They face double the unemployment rates of high school graduates, lower life expectancies and incarceration rates many times higher than those of graduates. A 2009 study estimated that the total lifetime cost to taxpayers for each dropout is almost $300,000.

In December, Cassandra became the first graduate of San Diego’s Career Online High School. “I felt now was the perfect time to finish my high school education because I had the support of my husband and family. I was able to do all my school work from home while taking care of my family,” said Cassandra.

She plans to continue her education and become a veterinarian.

The San Diego Public Library is one of the first libraries in the country to offer adults the opportunity to earn an accredited high school diploma and career certificate online. A limited spots are available for adult learners through scholarships provided by Library supporters.

To learn more about and apply to the program, visit here.

To support a learner with a scholarship, visit here.

Cassandra Denneson and family