June 26, 2018

Mississippi labor pool grows as 110 earn High School Equivalency at Hinds CC

MI BEST program anchors efforts for 110 new high school graduates
BY: Danny Barrett Jr.

RAYMOND – Brian Tiblier had worked for years in what he called “survival jobs” prior to re-entering school to earn a High School Equivalency certificate.

“I hung drywall and did a lot of commercial painting,” said Tiblier, 48, of Terry, who finished a job of a different kind June 22 by earning his HSE, formerly known as a GED, and valuable job training skills along the way.

Brian Tiblier, center, earned his High School Equivalency certificate this summer through Hinds Community College. With him are Howard Gollotte, an uncle, Jenny Matthews, his mother, Kristi Duran, his girlfriend, and Larry Tiblier, his brother. (Hinds Community College/Tracy Duncan)

Being part of an ongoing program to blend necessary academic courses and career training means Tiblier has the credentials he needs to qualify for the kind of work he pursues.

“I surely needed it for the job I want, in manufacturing by way of the Industrial Maintenance program here at Hinds,” he said.

Tiblier was among 110 people of varying ages and stations in life recognized during a ceremony Friday, June 22 at Cain-Cochran hall on the Raymond Campus. All earned their HSE this academic term. A portion of them had already gone a step further and earned either a technical or career certificate from the college during spring graduation ceremonies in May.

Nearly half, including Tiblier, participated in the MI BEST program at Hinds who received a GED during the ceremony. MI BEST is Mississippi’s version of the nationally recognized Integrating Basic Education and Skills Training program, or I-BEST. It allows adult students to train for a job skill while earning their GED high school equivalency certificate at the same time. Students are prepared to be job-ready in six months to a year, train in high-demand areas and earn national certifications.

Alfred Brown with his mother, Mildred (Hinds Community College/Tracy Duncan)

Kristina Tillett, 16, and Alfred Brown, 22, both of Vicksburg, earned their HSE certificates after difficulties in high school in recent years.

“High school just wasn’t for me,” said Tillett, who earned honor student status in the program and is eligible for a half-tuition scholarship to earn college credit going forward.

Brown left high school before his senior year. His results in the classroom in just a few years speaks volumes, as he’s now earned a high school equivalency, a career certificate in Culinary Arts Technology and his ServSafe food and beverage safety certificate.

“I had to help out my mom and sister,” Brown said. “But, being in the program kept me from just staying at home. This is all about the pride and happiness I get from being in the kitchen.”

Mary Powers, workforce director for Central Mississippi Planning and Development District, spoke to this year’s recipients on the value of their accomplishment down the road in life. She used the analogy of riding a dead horse to mark how important an accomplishment the ceremony represented.

Kristina Tillett, center-right, earned her High School Equivalency certificate this summer through Hinds Community College. With her are Marta Nixon, her mother, Debbie Denley, her grandmother, and Marisa Nixon, her sister. (Hinds Community College/Tracy Duncan)

“I want you to think about yourselves and your circumstances before you came to Hinds,” Powers asked of the newly-minted high school graduates. “None of you had a high school diploma. What matters is somewhere along the way, you realized your horse was dead. Maybe you tried to get a job, and they turned you down. Maybe you got a job, but it didn’t pay very much.

“You and Hinds Community College have buried those dead horses. You can decide to take on anything you decide to take on. Some of you have gone further and maybe gotten a career certificate. You have my utmost respect, as it took a lot of courage and effort on your part.”


Hinds Community College President Dr. Clyde Muse presents a plaque to Mary Powers, workforce director for Central Mississippi Planning and Development District, during a ceremony June 22 at Cain-Cochran Hall on the Raymond Campus recognizing those who had earned a High School Equivalency through the college. At right is Dr. Chad Stocks, vice president of Career and Technical Education and Workforce Development. (Hinds Community College/Tracy Duncan)





Eighty-three HSE recipients present Friday and their state hometowns included:

Victoria Adams, Vicksburg

Ayana Alexander, Jackson

Shanada Alexander, Jackson

Jadarian Amos, Jackson

Braxton Bailey, Raymond

Houston Connor Battenfield, Raymond

LaRhonda Bell, Raymond

Arlando Bingham, Pearl

Allexis Brooks, Raymond

Memory Brooks, Raymond

Alfred Brown, Vicksburg

Olga Burgess, Jackson

LaVoshia Carson, Raymond

Maria Chavez, Jackson

Lauren Dalton, Vicksburg

Kenda Darby, Utica

Denesa Davis, Utica

Lemarcus Dixon, Jackson

London Duke, Vicksburg

Adarius Evans, Raymond

Jessica Evans, Utica

Jasmine Felps, Raymond

Hanna Fortenberry, Pearl

Patrick Gerard, Pearl

Lauren Geter, Raymond

Darryl Gilmore, Raymond

Alexander Pryce Greenlee, Raymond

LaTricia Greer, Pearl

LaToya Gusta, Vicksburg

Jennifer Hampton, Vicksburg

Sakinah Hatch, Utica

Johnna Lacie Henson, Vicksburg

David Holiday, Raymond

Nicholas Humphery, Raymond

Chelsha Hunter, Raymond

Forrest James, Vicksburg

American Johnson, Vicksburg

Jayquan J.G.Johnson, Raymond

Tekesan Johnson, Utica

Audreia Jones, Jackson

Taneisha Kittling, Rankin County

Karah Klemme, Vicksburg

Tabatha Brooks Lelonek, Vicksburg

Meghin Lick, Vicksburg

Taylor Lick, Vicksburg

Monifah Lockhart, Utica

Misty Lopez, Raymond

Chad Martin, Jackson

Ivin McFarland, Raymond

Dearell McGill, Utica

Allexis Moore, Vicksburg

Diavion Mosley, Raymond

Cheyenne Parker, Rankin County

Viviane Petienve, Raymond

Angelica Pigee, Raymond

Shane Michael Pyron, Clinton

Ta’Neeshana Qualls, Vicksburg

Niger Ragsdale, Vicksburg

Kimberly Rather, Vicksburg

Ian Rehers, Raymond

Megan N. Resendiz-Barrera, Raymond

Lela Richardson, Raymond

Terrilicia Robinson, Jackson

McKaelyn Sanders, Rankin County

Jessica Sanford, Rankin County

Kelicia Shoto, Rankin County

Shetogie Sims, Raymond

Eddie Singleton, Jackson

Jessica Spann, Brandon

Eric Stimage, Utica

Toujour Tate, Vicksburg

Damario Terry, Jackson

Erin K. Terry, Vicksburg

Brian Tiblier, Terry

Kristina Tillett, Vicksburg

Damesha Toney, Jackson

Mattilyn Wade, Vicksburg

Devin Wall Sr., Utica

Latonia Washington, Jackson

Chester Webster, Vicksburg

Ayla Whitehead, Raymond

Darrenlyn Williams, Utica

Joshua Wilson, Jackson

Charakey Wright, Rankin County