Esperanza set a goal to earn her high school diploma in time for her daughter’s 5th grade graduation. This June, thanks to the Los Angeles Public Library’s Career Online High School program, SHE DID IT.

Esperanza Torres Carrillo was determined to graduate high school by the time her daughter Amy graduated from 5th grade in June 2019. With that goal in mind, in September 2018 she enrolled in Smart Horizons Career Online Education’s high school program through the Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL), earning her diploma just 8 months later, right in time for Amy’s graduation.

The 33-year-old mother of four explains that while her children inspired her, she also was fulfilling a personal goal. “I wanted to set an example for my family but also for myself—to prove that I could and I would accomplish my goal to become a high school graduate.”

Esperanza, who currently volunteers in an elementary school, earned a Child Care and Education Certificate to help advance her career in this field. The certificate prepares students with the professional development hours required to obtain the national Child Development Associate (CDA) credential. “My plans are to apply for a job in an elementary school and work closely with children. In the future I would like to go college to earn a Child Development Associate Teacher Permit.”

The LAPL has offered the accredited online high school program to residents free of charge since 2014. To date, the library has seen nearly 300 graduates. For students like Esperanza, the combination of the library’s onsite support with online mentoring, support, resources, and course content, made all the difference. “All the staff is there to help you with any questions you have and most importantly, you have a coach who is there for you all the way and motivates you all the time. Big thanks to my coach, Kimberly Sher.”

Esperanza, who stood by her daughter’s side as Amy not only graduated 5th grade, but received the President’s Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement, had words for others who, like her, are pursuing their second (or third or tenth!) chance at a high school education:

“Remember that no matter how difficult things may seem, you can do it. You are the only one who can set limits to your accomplishments. Believe in yourself!”

210037c1e1a642de9d1c2cbf6a4714dd.jpeg EC