The mother and daughter duo of Charlene Allen and Carla Johnson, both of Vicksburg, are particularly pleased they graduated together from Hinds Community College on Friday, Dec. 20.
“I took extra classes so we could graduate together,” said Johnson, a business office technology major. “We’re both pretty excited.”
Allen, Johnson’s mother, an early childhood major, was already scheduled to graduate during the fall 2013 ceremony.
On the same day, Tammie Norwood, 53, received a certificate in business office technology. She will receive another certificate next semester and then graduate with an associate degree in accounting in December 2014.
She started out, however, getting a General Education Development high school equivalency certificate after dropping out her senior year in high school because of family issues.
Now married with three grown children and three grandchildren, Norwood decided to return to school after an 18-year career as a floral designer. She lost her job and discovered she didn’t have the skills to get another.
“I decided it wasn’t too late to finally go to college and do what I wanted to do when I was younger,” she said. “At times it has been difficult but my family has been extremely supportive. I have been blessed. My approach has been that anything I do, I do the best I possibly can.”
Norwood decided to get the career certificates on the way to a degree because “I feel like it would look good on my resume and help my employer see the skills I have,” she said.
Graduation speaker Jane Flowers challenged graduates to behave like eagles, Hinds’ mascot, instead of chickens. She drew on a Blackfoot Indian story about an eagle that was raised by chickens in her remarks.
“Honored graduates, you are now eagles, and you are responsible for recognizing the potential in yourself,” said Flowers, Work-Based Learning coordinator at Hinds’ Vicksburg-Warren Campus as well as the faculty honoree for the legislative HEADWAE program in February.
Nearly 800 Hinds Community College students graduated over the two days in four ceremonies.
Of those, a little more than 500 chose to participate in a ceremony. Twenty-eight graduates have perfect 4.0 grade point averages for summa cum laude, 63 have 3.60 to 3.99 grade point averages, magna cum laude and 160 have 3.20 to 3.59 grade point averages, cum laude.
For more information, see the Hinds website at www.hindscc.edu.