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Executives pose with ceremonial check
Pictured L to R: Claire Gibbons, Power:Ed Executive Director; Melanie Huggins, Richland Library Executive Director; and Destra Capers, SC Student Loan Director of Marketing & Outreach

Columbia, SC - December 12, 2023 - Richland Library is the recipient of a $26,000 grant from Power:Ed, the philanthropy of SC Student Loan.  This gift marks the third round of funding from Power:Ed and will serve 20 Richland County residents in completing Richland Library's Career Online High School (COHS) program. Career Online High School prepares adult students for careers, whether they are entering the workplace for the first time or want to advance in their current places of employment. Students choose a major from 10 high-growth, high-demand career fields and complete coursework to develop the skills and knowledge that employers need.

“Power:Ed is proud to continue supporting Richland Library’s efforts to transform educational outcomes for adult learners, help them achieve the skills necessary to secure better paying careers, and help break the cycle of poverty for Midlands’ families,” said Power:Ed Executive Director Claire Gibbons.

Richland Library's Career Online High School is a free program for Richland County residents ages 21 and older who have completed the eighth grade and are looking to earn their high school diploma. Career Online High School began in 2018 and Richland Library welcomed its first graduating class of five students in October of 2019. As of today, the program has 79 graduates, with 5 students poised to graduate before the 6th graduation event on April 14, 2024.  One of Richland Library’s recent graduates, Letita Miller (May, 2023) was named the first Student of the Year for the program and received a $1,000 Scholarship from Smart Horizons, to attend Midlands Tech. To learn more about Career Online High School, click here.

“Career Online High School provides adult learners in Richland County an opportunity to change the trajectory of their lives, with the support of Richland Library’s caring and committed staff,” said Richland Library Executive Director Melanie Huggins. “Earning a high school diploma through Career Online High School can open a world of opportunity for each graduate and we are grateful for PowerEd’s commitment and partnership.”

In FY2023-24 Power:Ed will award $1,000,000 in grants to South Carolina education and career readiness nonprofit organizations. In this second quarter, Power:Ed has awarded eight grants (including this grant to Richland Library totaling $287,000. Grants are administered quarterly, and the next grant funding deadline is January 1, 2024.

About Power:Ed
Founded in 2019, Power:Ed, the philanthropy of SC Student Loan is dedicated to creating opportunities for South Carolina’s youth and adults by supporting low-income, minority, and first-generation students; improving access to college and degree completion; and creating pathways to quality workforce opportunities. Organizations serving middle school through post-college talent who are interested in applying for a grant or partnering with Power:Ed, should visit

About Richland Library
Awarded the National Medal in 2017 by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Richland Library is a vibrant, contemporary organization that provides resources and information that advance the Midlands. Offering state-of-the-art technology, a variety of literary and cultural programs and 13 bustling facilities located throughout the county, Richland Library provides a truly customizable, modern library experience for residents and visitors alike.

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