Pregnant and in her 20s, Hot Sulphur woman excels in local program to finally get high school diploma. Now she wants to go to college. | SkyHiNews.com

Pregnant and in her 20s, Hot Sulphur woman excels in local program to finally get high school diploma. Now she wants to go to college.

Recent high school graduate Malynn Glass holds her newborn daughter as she reads a baby book. Glass was the first-ever graduate of the Grand County Library District’s new Career Online High School program.
Lance Maggart / lmaggart@skyhinews.com

There’s no shame in graduating high school later than usual. Malynn Glass sees it as a point of pride that she finally earned her high school diploma, having never completed high school due to family issues and trouble transferring credits from her home state of California.

Glass, who is in her early 20s, is the first graduate of the Grand County Library District’s new program to help those without diplomas complete their high school curriculum online.

Glass, who lives in Hot Sulphur Springs, graduated from the library district’s Career Online High School program in early June, receiving her official high school diploma in the process. She completed the 18-month program in roughly seven months, all while pregnant and caring for her first-born child, a daughter who is a toddler.

“I feel really good about it,” Glass said. “I feel like it is a step towards what I want to accomplish with my future. Now that I have a high school diploma, I can go to college.”

Originally from California, Glass moved to the Grand County area around the time she would have started high school. Family related issues as well as trouble with transferring credits led Glass to drop out of high school. Last year, Glass’s sister overheard community members discussing the library district’s program and recommended her sister seek more information.

After reaching out to the library district, and going through an interview process that included receiving a grant to cover costs related to the program, Glass began her official coursework in October 2017. The classes themselves are conducted entirely online though the Career Online High School, with teachers based in Florida.

The program tailors classes to individual students depending upon which classes students have already completed per their previous school transcripts. Career Online High School establishes a work schedule for students to meet to complete the program with new classes starting every two weeks.

When the coursework is completed, students receive official high school diplomas from an accredited institution while also receiving a career certificate that varies depending upon a student’s specific course work. Glass received her career certificate in business management.

“I had to finish at least two lessons everyday to keep up,” Glass said. “There are 16 lessons in a class. At the end of the lessons you take an exam.”

When she started her coursework Glass was tracking closely with the schedule set up by the online school but her desire to finish the program and receive her diploma before the birth of her second daughter spurred the young woman to push herself even harder. By the end of her studies, she was completing around three classes each week.

Jeanie Johnson, who oversees the program for the library district, said she was extremely proud of the effort Glass showed.

“I am so proud of her,” Johnson said. “She learned more than just course work she learned to set a goal, make a commitment. I think that is so important.”

The program was made possible by funding provided through the federal Library Services and Technology Act. Under its provisions, the library district was provided with funding to cover scholarships for 10 students to participate in the online school sessions.

Glass is the program’s first Grand County graduate, though seven others are nearing completion. The district plans to hold a graduation ceremony in January.

Johnson said the district still has funding to cover scholarships for two more participants. However, federal funding resources will end after those two additional students begin their studies. The library district has plans to seek local funding sources to continue providing scholarships to students of the program.

Each scholarship costs $1,095, according to Johnson, who pointed out the program costs students nothing and requires only a computer and Internet access to complete course, making it simple for those seeking a high school diploma.


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