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Extraordinary Success with a High School Diploma or Less

This series tells the fascinating stories of people who have achieved extraordinary success in a wide variety of professions without the benefit of a college degree. These biographies will inspire students for whom college may not be the best option and provide them with important role models.

13 volumes
2013
10 and up
7 1/4 x 9 1/4 inches
"Each title begins with the same introduction explaining that it isn't necessary to have a college degree to be an achiever; motivation, hard work, and a dream are enough."
School Library Journal
"...uses recognizable figures in business, politics, and the arts to assert that college is not necessarily a prerequisite for success." "...highlights the need for self-motivation and a desire to learn no matter what the setting." "The book is careful to point out that not everyone who skips a traditional college experience will be a millionaire, and includes a chart to compare annual salaries of a variety of professions."
Booklist
"This would be an excellent book for young students that are unsure of what they would like to do with their lives." "Most importantly there is a section at the end that reviews the top one hundred jobs and salaries that can be obtained without anything more than a high school diploma."
Children's Literature Comprehensive Database
"It is reasonable to know that a college degree is not necessary for success in many fields, and inspiring to know about the rare high achievers whose talent, drive, and autodidact qualities are the springboards to their success." "Students, especially those not planning on attending college, will find them informative, and possibly inspirational..."
Library Media Connection
Ellen DeGeneres: From Comedy Club to Talk Show 
by Jaime Seba

Hardcover Available
eBook Available
In the last few decades, more and more people are going to college to further their education. It's hard to become a scientist, a professor, or a businessperson without getting some sort of college degree--but college isn't always necessary to achieve success. Some people are ready to enter the workforce right after high school. Ellen DeGeneres was one of those people. The comedian began her career doing stand-up routines in New Orleans coffee houses. Today, Ellen has one of the most successful talk shows on television and stars in commercials for everything from credit cards to makeup. She's even judged "American Idol"! And what's most amazing about her story is that the charming talk show host has done it all without a college degree!

Halle Berry: From Beauty Queen to Oscar Winner
by Z.B. Hill

Hardcover Available
eBook Available
In the last few decades, more and more people are going to college to further their education. It's hard to become a scientist, a professor, or a businessperson without getting some sort of college degree--but college isn't always necessary to achieve success. Some people are ready to enter the workforce right after high school. Halle Berry was one of those people. The former Miss USA runner-up began acting in 1991 and has since become one of the biggest stars in Hollywood. With big roles in some of the most successful movie franchises of all time and an Academy Award for Best Actress (for 2001's "Monster's Ball"), it seems there's nothing Halle Berry can't accomplish. And what's most amazing about her story is that the Oscar winner has done it all without a college degree!

Harry Truman: From Farmer to President
by Kim Etingoff

Hardcover Available
eBook Available
In the last few decades, more and more people are going to college to further their education. It's hard to become a scientist, a professor, or a businessperson without getting some sort of college degree--but college isn't always necessary to achieve success. Some people are ready to enter the workforce right after high school. Harry Truman was one of these people. The 33rd President of the United States fought in World War I and then returned home to begin a career in business. Truman then became a judge, U.S. Senator, Vice President, and then President of the United States. From 1945 to 1953, Truman led the most powerful nation on Earth. And what's most amazing about his story is that Truman did it all without a college degree!

James Cameron: From Truck Driver to Director
by Kim Etingoff

Hardcover Available
eBook Available
In the last few decades, more and more people are going to college to further their education. It's hard to become a scientist, a professor, or a businessperson without getting some sort of college degree--but college isn't always necessary to achieve success. Some people are ready to enter the workforce right after high school. James Cameron was one of these people. The successful director has created some of Hollywood's biggest hits. From "Aliens" to "Avatar", from "Terminator" to "Titantic", Cameron has been making dreams--and nightmares--come to life on screen for decades. And what's most amazing about his story is that the famous filmmaker did it all without a college degree!

Jennifer Aniston: From Friends to Films
by Kim Etingoff

Hardcover Available
eBook Available
In the last few decades, more and more people are going to college to further their education. It's hard to become a scientist, a professor, or a businessperson without getting some sort of college degree--but college isn't always necessary to achieve success. Some people are ready to enter the workforce right after high school. Jennifer Aniston was one of these people. The world-famous actress has starred in television shows and movies, both big Hollywood hits and independent films. Since her breakout role on "Friends", Jennifer's been hugely successful in the world of acting. Few stars are as well known around the world as Jennifer Aniston. And what's most amazing about Jennifer's story is that the actress reached her goals without a college degree!

Jim Skinner: From Burgers to the Boardroom
by Shaina C. Indovino

Hardcover Available
eBook Available
In the last few decades, more and more people are going to college to further their education. It's hard to become a scientist, a professor, or a businessperson without getting some sort of college degree--but college isn't always necessary to achieve success. Some people are ready to enter the workforce right after high school. Jim Skinner was one of those people. The successful CEO began working for McDonald's more than 40 years ago, flipping burgers and salting fries. Today, Skinner is one of the most celebrated CEOs McDonald's has ever had. Skinner helped to turn the company's image and sales around, working to create a healthier menu and better customer experience in each of McDonald's thousands of restaurants around the world. And what's most amazing about his story is that the food company CEO has done it all without a college degree!

Mark Zuckerberg: From Facebook to Famous      
by Z.B. Hill

Hardcover Available
eBook Available
In the last few decades, more and more people are going to college to further their education. It's hard to become a scientist, a professor, or a businessperson without getting some sort of college degree--but college isn't always necessary to achieve success. Some people are ready to enter the workforce right after high school. Mark Zuckerberg was one of those people. Although the Facebook founder went to Harvard, he dropped out to chase his dreams of changing the way people interact on the Internet. Today, Mark's company is one of the most successful of the Internet age, worth billions of dollars. Mark Zuckerberg changed the way we communicate forever. And what's most amazing about his story is that the Internet pioneer has done it all without a college degree!

Michael Dell: From Child Entrepreneur to Computer Magnate
by Shaina C. Indovino

Hardcover Available
eBook Available
In the last few decades, more and more people are going to college to further their education. It's hard to become a scientist, a professor, or a businessperson without getting some sort of college degree--but college isn't always necessary to achieve success. Some people are ready to enter the workforce right after high school. Michael Dell was one of those people. At an early age, Michael was making money using his above-average intellect. The computer company founder began his high-tech career in his college dorm room, selling upgrades for personal computers. Today, Dell Computers is one of the biggest PC manufacturers in the world, selling computers to people around the world. And what's most amazing about his story is that the computer magnate has done it all without a college degree!

Rachel Ray: From Candy Counter to Cooking Show
by Shaina C. Indovino

Hardcover Available
eBook Available
In the last few decades, more and more people are going to college to further their education. It's hard to become a scientist, a professor, or a businessperson without getting some sort of college degree--but college isn't always necessary to achieve success. Some people are ready to enter the workforce right after high school. Rachael Ray was one of those people. The cooking television and talk show star began her career working in restaurants and, for a little while, at the candy counter at Macy's in New York City. After becoming the chef at a prestigious hotel restaurant, Rachael worked her way from sous-chef to superstar! Today, shows like "30 Minute Meals", "Rachael Ray's Tasty Travels", and, of course, "Rachael Ray", have made Rachael one of the most successful people in television. And what's most amazing about Rachael's story is that she's done it all without a college degree!

Russell Simmons: From the Streets to the Music Business
by Shaina C. Indovino

Hardcover Available
eBook Available
In the last few decades, more and more people are going to college to further their education. It's hard to become a scientist, a professor, or a businessperson without getting some sort of college degree--but college isn't always necessary to achieve success. Some people are ready to enter the workforce right after high school. Russell Simmons was one of those people. The music mogul began his career promoting parties and concerts for rappers and DJs few people outside of New York City had ever heard of. Today, he's helped to spread hip-hop music and culture around the globe. Few people have changed music and business as much as Russell Simmons. And what's most amazing about his story is that the music business mogul has done it all without a college degree!

Simon Cowell: From the Mailroom to Idol Fame
by Shaina C. Indovino

Hardcover Available
eBook Available
In the last few decades, more and more people are going to college to further their education. It's hard to become a scientist, a professor, or a businessperson without getting some sort of college degree--but college isn't always necessary to achieve success. Some people are ready to enter the workforce right after high school. Simon Cowell was one of those people. The son of a British music executive, Cowell--instead of asking for help from his father--worked his way up through the music industry, starting from the mailroom. Though Simon found huge success in the music business, today the sarcastic star is most famous for his part in television shows like "American Idol", "America's Got Talent", and "The X Factor". Simon's known on screen as a short-tempered, sharp-tongued judge, but he's also had a role to play behind the scenes, creating and producing television shows in the United States and Britain. And what's most amazing about his story is that the music and television mogul has done it all without a college degree!

Steve Jobs: From Apples to Apps       
by Jaime Seba

Hardcover Available
eBook Available
In the last few decades, more and more people are going to college to further their education. It's hard to become a scientist, a professor, or a businessperson without getting some sort of college degree--but college isn't always necessary to achieve success. Some people are ready to enter the workforce right after high school. Steve Jobs was one of these people. The inventor and businessman changed the way the world uses technology with devices like the iPod, iPad, and iPhone. The company he helped found in a garage years ago is now one of the most successful companies in the world, and Jobs was the face of the technology giant right up until his death in 2011. Few people have changed the world as much in the twenty-first century as Steve Jobs. And what's most amazing about his story is that he did it all without a college degree!

Tyra Banks: From the Runway to the Television Screen
by Shaina C. Indovino

Hardcover Available
eBook Available
In the last few decades, more and more people are going to college to further their education. It's hard to become a scientist, a professor, or a businessperson without getting some sort of college degree--but college isn't always necessary to achieve success. Some people are ready to enter the workforce right after high school. Tyra Banks was one of those people. The supermodel and fashion icon has become one of the biggest names in television, hosting her own talk show and the successful "America's Next Top Model". While many models have short careers based on their looks alone, Tyra has found success in entertainment and business well beyond the catwalk and magazine photo shoots. And what's most amazing about her story is that the stylish superstar has done it all without a college degree!




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