Last month, 48-year-old Wanda Sanders accomplished a decades-long goal when she received her high school diploma, thanks in part to the New Orleans Public Library and the advice of her husband — who did the same thing a year before.
“We got married last year and at our wedding, he asked me what goals I want to achieve in my life and how he could help me achieve them. When I told him that I wanted to get my high school diploma, he said, ‘Well, let me tell you what I did. When I was 65 years old, I achieved my high school diploma and I went through the public library. And I was like, ‘What? The Library?’”
Both Wanda and her husband, Naimullah Abdullah received degrees from Career Online High School after having earned scholarships to the program through the New Orleans Public Library. Wanda finished her coursework at 11:11pm on June 20, just over 10 months after enrolling.
“I still find myself crying when I think about it. I feel like a burden has been lifted, and I can be proud that I followed through with this goal that I’ve had for so long.”
Now a high school graduate, Wanda is hoping to continue her education and pursue a career in medical coding.
“I couldn’t have done this without the Library, and probably my husband wouldn’t have either. And we’re both so grateful that there are services like this that exist at the Library. Before a year ago, I had no idea, but we think it’s incredible,” she said.
Read more about their journey and how you, too, can further your education for free with the Library here.
Career Online High School is an online high school diploma and career certification program available through public libraries across the country. The New Orleans Public Library has been offering scholarships to qualified applicants since January 2020. There are currently 11 remaining scholarships the Library is seeking to fill before the end of 2021. If you or someone you know is interested in applying, please visit cohs.nolalibrary.org.
The Library also offers free adult education services year-round in partnership with YMCA Education Services (YES!), including HISET preparation and literacy classes.