July 17, 2023

Adult high school diploma earners honored at Hinds CC ceremony

“I have joined in the journey with several of you. It hasn't been an easy one for everyone but you did it. You didn't give up,”
BY: Cathy Hayden

Teirra Brown originally left high school in the 11th grade and enrolled in a program to finish her high school diploma.

It turned out to be an illegitimate “diploma mill” that didn’t follow through on its promise.

At age 33, Brown of Jackson celebrated finally receiving her high school equivalency certificate, formerly known as a GED, at an Adult Education ceremony at Hinds Community College’s Raymond Campus on June 22.

“I want a better life, a better opportunity for my two kids,” she said.
She did so well in the college’s Adult Education program that she snagged an ACT scholarship worth $1,500 a semester and hopes to eventually enroll in the nursing program.

She was among about 50 adult learners celebrating their accomplishments.
“I have joined in the journey with several of you. It hasn’t been an easy one for everyone but you did it. You didn’t give up,” said Kristi Johnson, Director of Adult Education and Training. “And you’re sitting here and you earned it. You earned every bit of it, I hope you’re proud of it.”

Keynote speaker Marvin Moak, Vice President of Facility Management & Auxiliary Services, recalled that he dropped out of high school, “which severely limited opportunities that I was going to have in my life. With a whole lot of prayers from my mom and a lot of action from my dad, I returned to school and later went to college. I became the first in my family to not only attend college but to graduate from college. None of this was easy.

 “Everyone’s path is different,” he said. “You are going to be presented opportunities. We have to make a choice, to take them or not. Each of you made the choice to take an opportunity. Don’t stop. Opportunities taken will lead you to different places in the world, places you can’t even imagine.”

Herman Jensen of Clinton, 18, decided to earn his High School Equivalency certificate through Hinds’ Adult Education program because it was “quicker.”  “I’m coming back to Hinds for Information Technology. I already have a carpentry certificate,” he said.