With the end of the school year approaching, many high school seniors are looking forward to graduation and their next steps. Some are moving on to college or trade school, while others may be exploring the option of travel or joining the workforce.
This was not the case for Hillsborough resident Jessie Solis who dropped of high school at 18, put her education on hold, and began working full-time. After being diagnosed with uterine cancer in 2013, Solis decided she wanted to fulfill her over 20 year old goal of completing her high school education.
“One day I just woke up and said ‘I can’t do this anymore, I want to finish my education’,” said Solis.
Solis contacted Somerset County Social Services in Somerville to explore her options and was referred to high school equivalency preparation classes at the Somerset County Library System of New Jersey (SCLSNJ).
SCLSNJ was awarded a $56,304 grant from the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s Adult Literacy and Community Library Partnership grant program in September 2017. The grant enabled the Library System to offer High School Equivalency (HSE) preparation courses and English language acquisition (ELA) classes to residents of Somerset County, residents like Jessie Solis.
During the 17-week classes, Solis had several surgeries that hindered her from being able to attend all the classes. The off-site accessibility of Library resources like LearningExpress Library™ and a wide-selection of books became imperative to Solis’s success in achieving her educational goals. Because of these resources, she was able to study both outside of class hours in the Library as well as in the comfort of her home. In 2017, she successfully passed the exam and received her High School Equivalency Diploma (HSE).
“I am extremely grateful to SCLSNJ for giving me such a great opportunity to continue my education,” said Solis.
Solis hopes that her story will inspire those who have hesitated in continuing their education. She offers this piece of advice to those that are considering finishing their education: “don’t wait.”
“I am delighted that SCLSNJ has received a grant award from the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development for the second year in a row,” said SCLSNJ Director of Public Services Christopher Korenowsky. “It is essential that the public library remains a destination for customers that are looking to improve their employment options, as well as serve as an institution that excels in providing technology literacy initiatives to the community. I am proud of the hard work our dedicated staff puts forward every day to enrich the lives of customers who use SCLSNJ as an organization that champions lifelong learning.”
The Library also provides supplemental support services including: job readiness skills such as resume building, honing interviewing skills, and job search assistance; and basic computer skills in small group and one-on-one settings.
Class times and details for the summer session are as follows:
- English Language Learning Classes: SCLSNJ’s Manville Library branch Tuesdays and Thursdays, June 12- July 31, from 6-8:30 p.m. There are no classes scheduled on July 4.
- High School Equivalency Prep: Tuesdays and Thursdays, July 2 – August 31, 9:30 am – noon. There are no classes scheduled on July 4.
Registration is required for both class series. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 908-755-7909 ext. 8436.