Free Great Oaks program helps adults earn high school diploma, connect with job opportunities

Posted at 4:36 PM, Nov 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-07 17:19:14-05

CINCINNATI — A free program is helping Ohio adults get a high school diploma and connecting them with opportunities in the workforce after graduation.

Once she got over being afraid, Temeka Canady, a mother of four, said the program changed her life.

“It was a lot. The main thing I remember is math,” said Canady, a student in the Adult Diploma Program at Great Oaks Career Campuses.

“It was hard for me coming back as an adult trying to achieve this, but I got through it.”

For 2 ½ years, Canady has been hard at work trying to earn the diploma she never had and setting an example for her four kids.

Canady was working security but she wanted to get into nursing. Without a diploma, she turned to Great Oaks.

"She said, 'I’m looking to change my field and I’m looking to get going and I haven’t been to school in a long time and I’m really, really scared,’ “ said Holly Lee of Great Oaks.

“And I said, ‘You’re really, really in the right place.’ ”

The free Adult Diploma Program allows Canady to study at her own pace to earn a diploma while also earning a certification as a state-tested nursing assistant. She graduates this year.

“I learned to never give up, to keep pushing. There’s a lot of support here,” Canady said.

Lee said Canady is a model for success.

“It’s examples like you getting your diploma and being successful. What you do is you lift us up,” said Lee. “This is why teachers teach.”

The next Adult Diploma Program starts Nov. 26.

For more information, go to or email Great Oaks at