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PPLD honors first group of Career Online High School graduates

Career Online High School

When she was in 9th grade, Crystal Reavis dropped out of high school. “I got in with a group of friends that thought partying was more fun than being responsible,” she says. “I was a cheerleader. I wasn’t in the out crowd. But my parents left me with some friends to make my own decisions when I was 13, which led to partying and not doing my schoolwork.”

Now a married mother of two, Reavis is part of the first group of graduates from Pikes Peak Library District’s Career Online High School (COHS) program. A graduation ceremony will be held from 6 - 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 14 at East Library, 5550 N. Union Blvd.

“This is something I have wanted to do, but I don’t drive because of epilepsy, so getting a GED was hard. Dragging kids onto the bus is almost impossible. And most people don’t want your kids in the class with you,” says Reavis, who also homeschools her children: Gauge, age 9; and Kahlan, age 1.

While on PPLD’s website, self-described “library junkie” Reavis found information about COHS, and said, “‘This is something I can do!’ And my husband (David) said, 'You absolutely should!’ It was a perfect fit for me.”

Reavis was able to finish the program in four months, getting career certification in office management. The flexibility of a self-paced, online program benefited the busy Reavis. “I could go on there anytime I wanted, which was really great. Having two kids is hard enough, and when you homeschool you have to fit it in when you can,” she says.

Reavis’ accomplishment has unsurprisingly moved her family. “My son said, ‘I want to make sure I finish school now because I see how happy you are.’ When the diploma came in, my husband actually cried and told me how proud he was of me. He knew how important it was for me,” recalls Reavis.

“Thank you to Friends of the Pikes Peak Library District, to all of the librarians, and especially (PPLD Adult Education’s) Teona (Shainidze-Krebs) and Julie (Beck). They have both been with me every step of the way. If anyone were to ask me why they should enroll, I would say that it really will change your life. Once you have a diploma, you can do anything, whether it’s a better-paying job, going to college, or getting a sense of accomplishment.”

Ah yes, college. Reavis, once a teenage dropout, is about to start studying Anthropology through Ashford University. And she’s been trying to get a family member to enroll in COHS, as well. “My dad lives in Florida, and they have the same program there. He never finished school because his parents died. I told him, ‘You have to do this!’ And now he’s looking into it.”

For more information about Career Online High School, visit ppld.org/cohs.

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