When Cory Wicks talks about earning his diploma through the library’s Career Online High School program, his pride and unmistakable confidence fill the room.
“I’m proud of what I accomplished,” the 35-year-old heavy equipment operator and father of two, says. “It took courage to do what I should have done long ago.”
Cory learned about the library’s online high school program when he took his children to the Hadley Branch Library. It was there that librarian James Vallejos encouraged him to apply.
Cory admits he made mistakes as a young man, but he never gave up on his dreams.
“Earning my diploma is important,” he says, “for one thing because of my kids. I want them to graduate. It would be hypocritical of me if I didn’t also graduate.”
“With working, kids and life, it was tough to find time to study,” says Cory, who puts in 60 hours a week at two jobs. “There were times I wanted to give up. But Viviana inspired me to keep going. I couldn’t quit once I’d given her my word.”
And after hitting the books hard, Cory--wearing cap and gown--participated in the graduation ceremony at Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales Branch Library, as his family proudly looked on. Applause and cheers erupted when his name was called.
What’s next? Cory hopes to continue his studies and attend college, working toward becoming a project manager.