Long Beach Public Library Foundation

Long Beach Public Library Foundation

Students Get a Second Chance and Earn their High School Diploma at the Library

General Librarian Gina Robinson, LBUSD Board of Education and Library Foundation Board Member John McGinnis, Director of Library Services Glenda Williams, and Career Online High School Director of Strategic Accounts Diana Doetzel with four Long Beach Public Library graduates.

At the podium in his cap and gown, Samrith recalled his teen years acknowledging, “I did not get my high school diploma back then, but I didn’t quit. I never gave up on my education.” Now, 18 years after he left high school, Samrith earned his high school diploma at the Long Beach Public Library with support from the Library Foundation. He plans to continue on to community college and hopes to eventually begin a career in law enforcement.

Long Beach Public Library Career Online High School graduate, Samrith addressing the crowd.

A little over a year ago, the Library began offering the Career Online High School program for local adults to earn their high school diploma using library resources. The Library Foundation supports this program with scholarships to make this opportunity accessible to those who need it. So far, 12 students have graduated.

On September 30 at the Michelle Obama Neighborhood Library, Samrith joined three other graduates for the Library’s first Career Online High School graduation ceremony honoring these individuals who sought out this second chance to receive a proper education.

The graduates were cheered on at the ceremony by their family and friends. Teresa graduated while continuing to improve her English, but volunteered to speak during the ceremony and thanked her daughter Ana for encouraging her to earn her diploma.

Representing the Long Beach Public Library Foundation Board and LBUSD Board of Education, John McGinnis delivered the keynote address. He shared the story of his mother who was unable to complete high school in her youth. She waited for John to graduate from college before returning to get her diploma and inspiring him to become an educator.

Director of Library Services Glenda Williams noted how inspiring the day was for all who attended. This is a true example of hard work paying off.

Long Beach Public Library Career Online High School graduate, Teresa with her daughter Ana and granddaughter.