DeSharra Stamps has always understood the big picture, but occasionally the fine details have tripped her up. “I was in tutorial classes at Raymond High School from freshman year through senior year,” she said. “I have an issue with short-term comprehension skills. Sometimes, I have to receive information several times before I can understand it.”
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Wyatt Stringer understands how the world works and wants to build it better through his newfound skills in woodworking. He understood it a little too well in high school, though, and boredom was intense enough to delay his diploma. “For me, I just lost interest in all the repetition of basic skills and not learning enough specialized skills you can actually make a job out of,” he said.
Diagnosed with autism at age 2, McCollum, 23, of Jackson, earned an Occupational Diploma at Murrah High School but lacked critical credits for a full diploma. “My mom thought it was best for me to just get the Occupational Diploma since it was better for people with special needs like me and who aren’t as advanced as others,” McCollum said.
Mayra Gomez has always felt comfortable with the language of numbers. Now she wants to turn that into a career in accounting with the help of the MIBEST program at Hinds Community College’s Vicksburg-Warren Campus. “I’ve liked numbers my whole life,” Gomez said, agreeing it’s been something of a security blanket for her since coming to the United States from Mexico with her parents when she was already 20. “Numbers are just universal, plus I just have a square head like that!”
Andria Smith left her high school education undone and it turned into 10 years of struggling. With MIBEST, she said, she knew she had people partnering in her education instead of just going it alone.