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Richland Library and SC Student Loan executives pose with ceremonial check
Pictured L to R: Claire Gibbons, Power:Ed Director; Melanie Huggins, Richland Library Executive Director; Trey Simon, SC Student Loan Corporation President

Columbia, SC- August 25,2022 - Richland Library is the recipient of a $32,375 grant from Power:Ed, a philanthropy of SC Student Loan.  This gift marks the second round of funding from Power:Ed and will serve 25 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 create a strong, resilient economy; strengthen community cohesion; transform educational outcomes for youth; and help break the cycle of poverty for Midlands’ families,” said Power:Ed 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. The program has transformed the lives of 45 Richland County Residents thus far with 13 students that graduated this year. To learn more about Career Online High School, click here.

“Career Online High School provides adult learners with renewed hope for a bright future,” said Richland Library Executive Director Melanie Huggins. “The perseverance shown in the face of adversity by our graduates is inspirational. Many who thought a high school diploma was out of their reach have unlocked a world of opportunities through Career Online High School.”


In the first quarter of FY2022-23, Power:Ed has awarded six grants to SC education and career readiness nonprofits totaling nearly $219,000. Richland Library and Upstate Institute of Youth Programs are the first grantees announced and more are planned. Grants are administered quarterly and the deadline for the next round of grant funding is October 1, 2022.


About Power:Ed

Founded in 2019, Power:Ed, a 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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