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New KC program allows individuals to obtain HS diploma, career certification

Posted at 9:55 PM, Nov 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-10 00:28:26-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Like many parents, Tierra Lewis helps her children with their homework after school. A year-and-a-half ago Lewis started doing her own homework alongside them.  

"Sometimes they play the teacher and I'll be the student and then I'm the teacher and they are the student so we kind of think of different ways to make it fun," Lewis said. 



Lewis, 30, dropped out of high school 13 years ago to take care of her kids.

Recently, Lewis wanted to obtain her GED.

A simple Google search led her to Literacy Kansas City, who recommended that she apply to their "Career Online High School" (COHS).

It's a program the non-profit began with the Kansas City and Mid-Continental Public Libraries that allows individuals to obtain a high school diploma and a certification in a career path. 

"My children are seeing me now get my education and so they understand the importance of getting an education and they also see that it's never too late to follow your dreams," Lewis said.  

She is now among the 13 graduates in COHS' inaugural class who received a diploma during a ceremony Thursday evening at the Plaza library branch.

Each graduate shares a common story of overcoming barriers.  

"We don't care about really how you got to not having a diploma, we want to know how you're going to get it," Gillian Helm, Executive Director of Literacy Kansas City told 41 Action News Thursday.

Participants have up to 18 months to complete coursework and can graduate in as few as six months by transferring previously earned high school credits.

Lewis, who obtained a certification in child development, plans to study psychology at Longview Community College.

"It's good to know that I can inspire somebody else, where I can help with somebody else that's amazing for me," Lewis said. 

Career Online High School is on a rolling admissions policy and scholarships are available. For more information visit here.