Eula and LaRhea Gray, mother and daughter, are recent high school graduates of Smart Horizons Career Online High School (SHCOHS). SHCOHS is a division of Smart Horizons Career Online Education–the world’s first AdvancED/SACS accredited online school district.Both Eula and LaRhea started their coursework in June of 2010, with Eula finishing in May of this year, and daughter LaRhea finishing in April.

Given that Eula and LaRhea run a family business in Riviera Beach, FL titled Eula Gray Family Daycare, it’s not surprising that both women chose the Child Care & Education career certificate, which prepares students to obtain the national Child Development Associate (CDA) certification. Eula Gray Family Daycare began operations in 2002.

Eula, 42, attended three different schools in the West Palm Beach area in her teens, almost completing her junior year of high school before the demands of motherhood intervened.

“At one point, I tried to get my GED and I passed everything except the math, which I missed by one point,” Eula said. “I kept saying I would go back and get it, but I never did. That bothered me for a long time.”

Eula was also frustrated in her first attempt to earn a CDA certification when it turned out the correspondence school she was using was not accredited. She was introduced to SHCOHS in 2010 and discovered she could earn both her high school diploma and CDA certification in one comprehensive online program.

“The best part of the program is you can work at home at your convenience,” Eula said. “You may have a certain time you do the work each day, but you don’t have to go anywhere. I liked working at the computer better than going to classes. This is a good thing when you also have to juggle a husband and a business. I really enjoyed it. It was a learning experience.”

Eula said she liked all the courses, though admitted that neither math nor science had ever been her strongest subjects. However, by sticking with it and taking advantage of SHCOHS’s excellent academic support and student engagement model, she now holds both her AdvancED/SACS accredited high school diploma and career certificate.

LaRhea, 24, had attended West Palm Beach’s R.J. Hendley Christian Education Center in her teens.

“I passed the 10th grade, but I really didn’t like high school and didn’t start the 11th grade,” LaRhea said. “Mom was mad for little bit, but I just didn’t like it.”

With SHCOHS, LaRhea has been able to better prepare herself to take over the family business when the time comes.

“This is my career,” she said. “I’ve been around kids my whole life and it was time to learn what I needed to learn and do what I needed to do so I’ll be able to run the business.”

LaRhea, who admitted wanting to complete the SHCOHS program quicker than her mother, said that her favorite subjects were science and social studies, but that she enjoyed the Child Care & Education coursework the most.

“Doing this really helped me a lot,” she said. “It was something I felt like I needed to take advantage of and now I try to encourage other people who don’t have their high school diploma to look at SHCOHS. It is an outstanding academic program that is very well designed.”