http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=PT+Sans Great-grandmother among 45 at High School Equivalency ceremony at Hinds CC

Posts by tag: GED

Great-grandmother among 45 at High School Equivalency ceremony at Hinds CC
Posted by
06 July

Great-grandmother among 45 at High School Equivalency ceremony at Hinds CC

RAYMOND – Ruby Hardy came home to Jackson last year the way countless people make their way back home – to take care of family.

“I came back to take care my mother,” Hardy said. “It prompted me to go into the job center, but I didn’t qualify much since I didn’t have a GED. I was even thinking of working in foodservice because I have to take care of a family.”

Ruby Hardy

Ruby Hardy

Hardy, 70, was among 45 people of varying ages and stations in life recognized during a ceremony Friday, June 30 at Cain-Cochran Hall on the Raymond Campus for achieving their High School Equivalency certificate, formerly known as the GED, this academic term.

The great-grandmother of five had left Lanier High School before her senior year was up and went to California, where she took part in a jobs program established by the federal government during the Kennedy administration, then worked several years for Pacific Bell in various roles.

“Back then, if you passed an entry-level test, you could just get a job and after about five years, you could move around,” she said. “Nowadays, the first thing they’ll ask you for is a GED or a high school diploma.”

She plans to become a certified medical data technologist and open her own business.

“To reach this milestone, it’s an awesome feeling,” she said. “I never thought I’d be at a loss for words, so that’s the only thing I can say. It’s just awesome.”

Hardy was among eight participants 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.

Tommy Dotson, left, of Vicksburg, shakes hands with Dickie Scruggs following a ceremony June 30, 2017 at Cain-Cochran Hall at Hinds Community College Raymond Campus to recognize those who earned a High School Equivalency certificate this past academic term. (Hinds Community College/Tammi Bowles)

Tommy Dotson, left, of Vicksburg, shakes hands with Dickie Scruggs following a ceremony June 30, 2017 in Cain-Cochran Hall at Hinds Community College Raymond Campus to recognize those who earned a High School Equivalency certificate this past academic term. (Hinds Community College/Tammi Bowles)

Dickie Scruggs, former prominent lawyer and founder of the nonprofit Second Chance Mississippi, spoke to this year’s recipients on the value of their accomplishment down the road in life. The collaborative effort with the state’s community colleges raises awareness and funds for High School Equivalency and adult education.

“My charge to you today is simple,” Scruggs said. “If you will do one thing the rest of your life, you will succeed. Just three words – just show up. If you just show up, anything you undertake to do, chance are you will succeed.”

GED recipients who were honored Thursday and their stated hometowns included:

 

Brianna Allen, Vicksburg

LeDarius Anderson, Byram

Stephanie Bell, Vicksburg
Kadeem Bilal, Clinton
Michael Boyles, Clinton
Amy Bray, Raymond
Brittany Caldwell, Vicksburg
Willie Chapin, Utica
Jason Chapman, Jackson
Lateisha Chatman, Jackson
Tyler  Davenport, Jackson
Tommy Dotson, Vicksburg
Brandi Eucare, Jackson
Connor Evans, Vicksburg
William Everett Jr., Jackson
Bobby Hannah, Jackson
Ruby Hardy, Jackson
Malik Harvey, Byram
Mandy Hart, Raymond
Cherie Hayes, Jackson
Alease Hobson, Jackson
Courtney Holmes, Jackson
Melissa Irby, Jackson
Isreal Jenkins, Clinton
Darien Johnson, Jackson
Kyra King, Vicksburg
Javen Love, Brandon
Rachel Majoria, Vicksburg
Antoniesha McCoy, Jackson
Timothy Myles, Clinton
Khaaliq Nunn, Jackson
Jenny Pettis, Raymond
Chester Price, Jackson
KaDarius Price, Jackson
Valanta Pruitt, Vicksburg
Jarrett Riles, Byram
Octivitia Smith, Jackson
Chyrianne D Sterling, Jackson
Olivia Tarver, Vicksburg
Frank Jr Tullos, Edwards
Rosemary Washington, Clinton
Alexandria Watkins, Raymond
Candace Watson, Byram
Robert Watson, Vicksburg
Tanya White, Jackson

[tweetable alt=””]Great-grandmother of five among GED recipients at Hinds CC[/tweetable]

1 546 06 July, 2017 News more
GED graduates credit persistence after ceremony at Hinds CC
Posted by
27 June

GED graduates credit persistence after ceremony at Hinds CC

RAYMOND – I’Esha Granderson, of Jackson, has rung up many an order since leaving high school without a diploma, mainly pastries and fill-ups at gas stations.

But the Jackson mother of two decided it was time to try for a career instead of settling for low-paying jobs.

I'Esha Granderson, left foreground, shakes hands with David Creel, district Director of Manufacturing Training at Hinds Community College, as she walks across the stage at Cain-Cochran Hall on the college's Raymond Campus to accept her GED certificate on Thursday, June 23, 2016. (April Garon/Hinds Community College)

I’Esha Granderson, left foreground, shakes hands with David Creel, district Director of Manufacturing Training at Hinds Community College, as she walks across the stage at Cain-Cochran Hall on the college’s Raymond Campus to accept her GED certificate on Thursday, June 23, 2016. (April Garon/Hinds Community College)

“I’ve been out of high school eight years working at lot of dead-end jobs,” Granderson said. “I’m 25 with two children, so I felt it was time to move forward with my life.”

Granderson was among 37 people of varying ages and stations in life recognized during a ceremony Thursday, June 23 at Cain-Cochran Hall on the Raymond Campus for achieving their General Education Development high school equivalency certificate this academic term.

She sees herself being in charge of the products once she continues and completes her education – and honor her deceased grandmother along the way.

“Culinary arts and business management,” she said. “I want to own a business and work for myself. That way, I’ll know the quality of food I’m serving other people.”

“My grandmother, Monevia, opened her restaurant in Tchula in 1991, the year I was born. Everyone there knew her as Nancy, or Nan. It was called Nancy’s Kitchen. She ran it herself until she passed away in 2011. I know she’s smiling down on me.”

She was among 11 participants 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.

Another was Ashley Clark, who enrolled in the program at the Vicksburg-Warren Campus five months ago.

Ashley Clark, left, shakes hands with Dr. Chad Stocks, vice president for Workforce Development at Hinds Community College, during a ceremony at Cain-Cochran Hall on the college's Raymond Campus on June 23 recognizing those who earned their GED certificate in the recent academic term. (April Garon/Hinds Community College)

Ashley Clark, left, shakes hands with Dr. Chad Stocks, vice president for Workforce Development at Hinds Community College, during a ceremony at Cain-Cochran Hall on the college’s Raymond Campus on June 23 recognizing those who earned their GED certificate in the recent academic term. (April Garon/Hinds Community College)

“The professional development class offered with the MI-BEST program has helped me bring me to a more professional level,” Clark said. “My employer, friends and family can tell how I carry myself now.

“I’ll have a Career Readiness Certificate by the end of next semester. And I should have my associate’s (two-year degree) by next spring.”

Susan Brown, 60, of Edwards, an employee of Hinds in Admissions, was the eldest student to walk across the stage and receive her diploma. Hinds President Dr. Clyde Muse handed it to her personally.

Susan Brown, left, accepts her GED certificate from Hinds Community College President Dr. Clyde Muse during a ceremony at Cain-Cochran Hall on the college's Raymond Campus on June 23, 2016. (April Garon/Hinds Community College)

Susan Brown, left, accepts her GED certificate from Hinds Community College President Dr. Clyde Muse during a ceremony at Cain-Cochran Hall on the college’s Raymond Campus on June 23, 2016. (April Garon/Hinds Community College)

“One of the people who had really tried to inspire me to go back to school was actually Vashti Muse,” Brown said, referring to Dr. Muse’s wife, who died in 2010. “But I kept putting it off. But, last year, I dug in and said, ‘All I can do is fail, right?’ I just want people to know[tweetable alt=””] it doesn’t matter how old you are, you can get a degree.”[/tweetable]

Dr. Rachel DeVaughan, an Adult Basic Education program specialist for the Mississippi Community College Board, spoke to this year’s recipients with a message of not giving up despite background and circumstances.

Dr. Rachel DeVaughan, an Adult Basic Education program specialist for the Mississippi Community College Board, speaks during a ceremony at Cain-Cochran Hall on Hinds Community College's Raymond Campus recognizing recipients of GED certificates. (April Garon/Hinds Community College)

Dr. Rachel DeVaughan, an Adult Basic Education program specialist for the Mississippi Community College Board, speaks during a ceremony at Cain-Cochran Hall on Hinds Community College’s Raymond Campus recognizing recipients of GED certificates. (April Garon/Hinds Community College)

DeVaughan, a mother of two, had received a GED by the age of 19 after dropping out of high school. She returned to school at age 28 to pursue her dream of being a teacher, a journey that culminated in 2014 with her earning a doctorate in education.

In between, she rose through the ranks of McDonald’s, where she had first started work at 16, working in management and supervisory roles in the worldwide fast food chain’s restaurants in the U.S. and in England. Since 2005, she has been a middle school teacher, a curriculum specialist and an assistant dean of instruction at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.

“I knew I wanted more out of my life for my children,” DeVaughan said. “I realized the only way I was ever going to get ahead was to get more education.

“Some of you might not feel very confident as a student, and that’s OK,” she said. “Confidence is a feeling. Courage, on the other hand, is a choice. And you were courageous in your choice to come to Hinds Community College and work toward completing your high school equivalency diploma.”

GED recipients who were honored Thursday and their stated hometowns included:

  • Jerry Bacon, of Jackson
  • Ashley Baker, of Vicksburg
  • Brianna Brooks, of Terry
  • Brittany Bullock, of Ridgeland
  • Ashley Clark, of Vicksburg
  • Susan Brown, of Edwards
  • Donna Jad’D Crooks, of Vicksburg
  • James Cuyler, of Terry
  • Felix Davis, of Jackson
  • Hope Davis, of Jackson
  • Alicia Dixon, of Vicksburg
  • Baylee Garrett, of Brandon
  • I’Esha Granderson, of Jackson
  • Heather Harrington, of Clinton
  • Kaitlyn Hudson, of Bolton
  • Ronald Humes, of Vicksburg
  • Kylil Killian, of Vicksburg
  • Carl Landry, of Clinton
  • Joshua Martin, of Clinton
  • Cameron McClain, of Vicksburg
  • Patrick McClure, of Jackson
  • Autumn McIntosh, of Raymond
  • Shelia McLaurin, of Hermanville
  • Gerald McQuarter, of Byram
  • Amanda Miller, of Vicksburg
  • Destanie Miller, of Terry
  • Napoleon Miller, of Jackson
  • Tyeisha Nelson, of Jackson
  • Shanea Parker, of Vicksburg
  • Brendon S. Rodgers, of Vicksburg
  • Kendall Robinson, of Byram
  • Moeisha Shields, of Jackson
  • Jayshaun Simmons, of Jackson
  • Ashlyn Smith, of Pearl
  • Precious Tucker, of Bolton
  • Allen W. Warner, of Vicksburg
  • Marissa A. Williams, of Vicksburg

Fifteen of the 37 recipients present, including Granderson, were Honor Students, awarded scholarship funds, or both. Granderson received a $500 cash award from the Education Pays Program. The program began in 2009 as a partnership between Hinds and the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation to make funds available for all Hinds CC Warren GED recipients over the age of 21. The foundation has expanded the program to the Jackson Campus-Academic/Technical Center.

Scholarship funds were also made available to this year’s GED recipients by Central Mississippi Planning and Development District and the Adult Education Advisory Council.

From left, Ashley Clark, Ronald Humes and Allen W. Warner share a smile before a ceremony June 23 at Cain-Cochran Hall on Hinds Community College's Raymond Campus recognizing those who have earned their GED certificate in the recent academic term. (Tammi Bowles/Hinds Community College)

From left, Ashley Clark, Ronald Humes and Allen W. Warner share a smile before a ceremony June 23 at Cain-Cochran Hall on Hinds Community College’s Raymond Campus recognizing those who have earned their GED certificate in the recent academic term. (Tammi Bowles/Hinds Community College)

0 1019 27 June, 2016 News more
Stability from Hinds CC’s MI-BEST program helps turn dropout’s life around
Posted by
14 December

Stability from Hinds CC’s MI-BEST program helps turn dropout’s life around

Sam Rodgers is no stranger to taking care of himself.

He grew up in foster care and scrapped to make something out of his middle school years.

“I bounced around from shelter to shelter, stayed on the street a little bit,” said Rodgers, 34, of Jackson. “I tried to do my best in school, but I had to quit to take care of myself.”

Sam Rodgers, a student in the MI-BEST program at Hinds Community College, is taking culinary classes and recently landed a job at Hal & Mal's in Jackson. (April Garon/Hinds Community College)

Sam Rodgers, a student in the MI-BEST program at Hinds Community College, is taking culinary classes and recently landed a job at Hal & Mal’s in Jackson. (April Garon/Hinds Community College)

He worked in fast food, then as a construction worker for 14 years where he made decent money. “I did everything you can possibly think of in the construction business.” But that job went away, and the lack of a high school diploma and skills beyond the work yard threatened to put him back in dire straits.

“I thought, ‘Well, Sam, you’re back where you started,’ ” he said.

He looked into the comprehensive adult education program at Hinds Community College, and, unlike past ups and downs in life, it’s been all the help he’s needed.

“My fiancé and New Horizons Church told me about an event for MI-BEST at the medical mall in Jackson,” Rodgers said. “They said it would help you get finish school and get a GED.”

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.

The structure means having teachers for both academics and career-tech skills in the classroom simultaneously for about 25 to 50 percent of the time, said Dr. Robin Parker, district director of Integrated Pathways at Hinds.

“We have to modify our instruction and do something different in the classroom in order to help our students be successful,” Parker said. “One teacher is an academic teacher helping students prepare for their GED and career readiness certificate, and then another is a career skills instructor who helps prepare them for nationally-recognized industry certificates.

“So, our students are leaving with college credit and their GED, and a portfolio of credentials industry has endorsed.”

Industries have recruited students to the program, which Parker ensures interviews for jobs that can pay double-digit hourly wages right away.

Program staff called navigators help students find solutions with things such as transportation, child care and financial aid.

“Navigators see program students daily,” Parker said. “They work with our community partners to remove any kind of barrier that prevents the student from focusing on their classroom instruction.”

Rodgers’ experience in the working world got him through the necessary career-readiness and other qualifying tests. His entry onto a college campus for the first time in November keeps “blowing him away,” he said.

Rodgers will be trading his hard hat for a chef hat when he enters Hinds’ Culinary Arts Technology program in January. He wants to take the skills and expertise he’ll learn in the kitchen and bring it back to the inner city, where he says fine dining experiences are rare.

“I want to start my own business and have it where it’s white tablecloths and beautiful scenery,” Rodgers said. “It’ll give people something different besides fast-food restaurants.”

His here-and-now is looking good, too. Rodgers recently landed a job at Jackson’s Hal and Mal’s as an entry-level chef.

“Food is just awesome, always been a passion and one of my dreams,” he said. “You can be in a bad mood, but then eat a delicious dinner and it just changes your whole attitude.”

0 853 14 December, 2015 News more
Hinds CC MI-BEST program puts Vicksburg student on path to culinary dream
Posted by
02 December

Hinds CC MI-BEST program puts Vicksburg student on path to culinary dream

Brandy Greenwood really hasn’t stopped working in recent years, despite not having a paying job or a high school diploma.

“I quit going to school in the 11th grade because I got pregnant with my two oldest kids,” Greenwood said. “I was in the band and ROTC in high school, so I wasn’t ever weak in any subjects. I tried five times to pass the GED, but life got in the way.”

Brandy Greenwood practices culinary knife skills as part of classes she takes at Hinds Community College Vicksburg-Warren Campus. Greenwood is a student in the MI-BEST program, which provides a high school equivalency certificate and job training at the same time. (April Garon/Hinds Community College)

Brandy Greenwood practices culinary knife skills as part of classes she takes at Hinds Community College Vicksburg-Warren Campus. Greenwood is a student in the MI-BEST program, which provides a high school equivalency certificate and job training at the same time. (April Garon/Hinds Community College)

Greenwood, a Shreveport, La., native, moved to Mississippi in 1999 as a 20-year-old single mother when her own mother’s job moved to Jackson. A decade of transience reached an apparent low point when she moved into a shelter for homeless women in Vicksburg with her four children. She lived in the shelter a year and a half, eventually doing odd jobs for the facility’s operators.

“I was a house monitor, the cook, the driver, did all kinds of errands,” she said. Once she moved into more permanent housing in 2013, her thoughts shifted to bettering her station in life. “I needed to get myself together and find something to do. When I was at the shelter, I did so many things, including cooking.”

Another go-round this past year at securing a high school diploma through Hinds Community College was a payoff, thanks to a handful of people who work with students in the enhanced adult education program to handle issues of transportation, child care, financial aid and more.

“Ms. Lauren Powers said someone suggested me for the MI-BEST program after I took a test to enter the GED program to see how much I remembered. When I asked what trades I could take, she said culinary was one of them. I said, ‘I’m in there! I’ll take it.’”

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.

“Brandy has really overcome a lot of adversity throughout her life,” said Powers, who works as a navigator in the program that helps students with things such as transportation, child care and financial aid. That way, the students keep their total focus on academics. “The MI-BEST program at Hinds CC in Vicksburg was the perfect program to help get the ball moving in the right direction for Brandy. Part of my role as the MI-BEST navigator is to provide a wraparound of student services from support, guidance and counseling in both academics as well as with everyday life to serving as a listening board and being a cheerleader for the students.

“She is dedicated and motivated to reaching her goals, and I couldn’t be more proud of her efforts in the MI-BEST program. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for her – I just know it is going to be bright!”

Greenwood began classes in June and passed all tests on the first try. Now she attends classes twice a week, nine hours a day. In her culinary classes, she has learned the finer points of slicing cheese and proper techniques of cutting fruit. Of her core academic classes, math remains “a challenge.” She hopes to take the GED test by the end of November.

“It’s been 20 years since I’ve been in school, and for me to be doing this well I know this is my year,” she said. “It’s time for me to do my part. I’ll be the first child of my mother to walk in a cap and gown.”

“It’s helped me find myself,” she said. “I have the strength, courage and knowledge to do what I have to do. I’m challenged every day in class for something, whether it’s in Mr. (Tim) DeRossette’s class or in math class. I hope this shows my children that you’re never too old to finish school.”

And she’s also thinking big beyond her long-awaited graduation. She wants to draw upon a cooking heritage to bring the dining world’s hottest trend to Vicksburg.

“Cooking is a dream of mine,” she said. “My mom and my grandmother, who is a retired school cafeteria worker, were my mentors. My mother worked for a bank for 45 years, then got her cake decoration license, so she can decorate pastries and things like that.”

“Most definitely, I’d want to do a food truck because we don’t have one here in Vicksburg,” she said. “I know I want it to be good food, but healthy and not always fried.”

Her husband, Randy, laid flooring for a living for 15 years, but is now disabled. Still, Brandy feels she already has her future business partner right there in the kitchen.

“We make this coconut chicken that is awesome,” she said. “He’d make a good sous chef for me.”

0 1163 02 December, 2015 News more
Hinds CC MI-BEST training offers both job, academic training
Posted by
02 December

Hinds CC MI-BEST training offers both job, academic training

Phillip Wallace had something of a clue from an early age about how best to achieve his goals.

He just didn’t appreciate the lesson for a while.

Phillip Wallace

Phillip Wallace

“When I was 12 or 13, I remember my mom putting me to work when I wanted $10 to go to the store to buy something,” Wallace said. “She said, ‘Well, there’s a lawnmower, a weed eater and some gas.’ That’s what started me off cutting grass and trimming bushes.”

Wallace, 24, of Jackson, is now enrolled in Hinds Community College’s MI-BEST program, 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.

But before getting involved in the Hinds program, Wallace’s life was derailed by a 2 ½-year stint in the prison system, a phase of life he chalks up to environment.

“It was a rocky teen life,” he said, adding a scheduling error in high school caused him to miss out on his senior year. “Highest grade was the 11th grade.”

Homelessness and bad decisions put Wallace on the street, then in jail. “Basically, it happened from hanging with the wrong crowd,” he said. “I got in trouble with the law, but I’ve learned a real good lesson from being incarcerated.

“I got tired of the street life, smoking marijuana and hanging around the same old crowd and negative influences, period.”

Now three years into a four-year probation sentence, Wallace is ready to learn in the classroom and in life.

“I have goals set for myself now,” he said. “The only way to achieve those goals is to get back in school.”

Aleisha Coins, one of six “navigators” in the program that help students with things such as transportation, child care and financial aid, met Wallace during orientation period for the program.

“Phillip has overcome several challenges in order to get to this point and he is aware of everything that he needs to do to become successful,” Coins said. “I am confident that he will become an outstanding working citizen.”

Wallace is taking academic courses four days a week at the Raymond Campus and is interested in construction-related career-tech programs. But his experience working heavy equipment with a landscaping firm earlier in his probation rekindled a love for all things earthy.

“I would really love to work with landscaping and with planting things to make things look better,” Wallace said. “It’s my playing field. And I’d love to help make Jackson look better. I love my city, but I just don’t like the way it looks. I want to make sure my home town looks decent, not with grass and vines everywhere.”

He’s also had helping hand-up from the Hinds Community College Foundation, which responded to Wallace’s need for stable housing by awarding him the Fountain Family scholarship. It’s paying for living space on campus and his meal ticket for the remainder of this semester.

“Phillip applied for a Foundation scholarship to cover room and board expenses, and was graciously awarded that scholarship based on financial need,” Coins said, adding an exceptional interview for an Individual Training Account Scholarship through the Workforce Investment Act helped him land funds to cover tuition, books and fees.

Each Hinds MI-BEST student is “adopted” by a community partner that helps students with needed support services.

Wallace’s community sponsor is Jackson-based Stewpot Community Services, which sent sack lunches and helped organize his transportation to class until the scholarship came through. The group worked with Working Together Jackson, a larger community initiative, to get involved in Wallace’s story as he got his life back in order.

“There are so many people like Phillip who need a program like MI-BEST to be able to get jobs that pay livable wages and have a career path,” said Heather Ivery, business administrator for Stewpot. “We are excited to be working with Hinds CC and Working Together Jackson to provide the community support these students need.”

“Philip Wallace is an example of a young man who is willing to take advantage of a second chance when it is given,” said Perry Perkins Jr., lead organizer for Working Together Jackson. “That is what the partnership between Working Together Jackson, its members, the City of Jackson and Hinds Community College is doing­—creating for Philip and others a pathway out of poverty.”

Wallace said being in a healthy learning environment the program affords its students has made all the difference.

“It’s been a learning experience, but it depends on what you want to learn from it and better yourself. You can learn from your mistakes, but only if you choose to.”

Registration in the program for the spring semester is 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 16 and Jan. 4 at the Raymond Campus. To reserve a spot, go to http://hub.hindscc.edu/mibest or email Angela.Hayes@hindscc.edu. Scholarships are available for students who qualify.

0 1066 02 December, 2015 News more
GED graduates credit persistence after ceremony Friday at Hinds CC
Posted by
16 June

GED graduates credit persistence after ceremony Friday at Hinds CC

RAYMOND – Fay Lundy was an honors student in high school but she knew nothing about the real world.

That was more than 50 years ago. Between then and now, her education had been in the workplace, but she also felt something was missing.

“I didn’t need school then, because I knew it all,” Lundy said. “But, after a while I realized what I didn’t know. But, by then, I was married and had kids.”

Lundy was among 16 people of varying ages who were recognized during a ceremony Friday at Eagle Ridge Conference Center on the Raymond Campus for achieving their General Education Development certificate this academic term.

Being the oldest person in the group didn’t faze the 68-year-old Bolton resident and grandmother of eight who worked in convenience stores, big-box retailers and restaurants as she raised a family.

“I keep telling my grandchildren, ‘Grandma worked hard but didn’t make any money because she didn’t have an education.’”

Thomas Ealey, center, celebrates his earning a General Education Development certificate following a ceremony Friday at Eagle Ridge Conference Center on the Raymond Campus. Also pictured are his daughter, McKenzie, and Dianna Jones, McKenzie’s mother.

Thomas Ealey, center, celebrates his earning a General Education Development certificate following a ceremony Friday at Eagle Ridge Conference Center on the Raymond Campus. Also pictured are his daughter, McKenzie, and Dianna Jones, McKenzie’s mother.

Thomas Brandon Ealey, 30, one of three honors students among those recognized and among four GED recipients who received $500 from the Education Pays program, hopes to learn those lessons early. He works retail in Flowood these days and has his sights set higher after years of making “a lot of bad decisions.”

“My motivation is my three children, nieces and nephews and the people around me,” Ealey said. “I’m really contemplating law school.”

Thomas Brandon Ealey, right, lends a helping hand to Fay Lundy, left, as they make their way into Eagle Ridge Conference Center on Friday for a ceremony to recognize those who received General Education Development certificates this academic term. following a ceremony Friday at Eagle Ridge Conference Center on the Raymond Campus.

Thomas Brandon Ealey, right, lends a helping hand to Fay Lundy, left, as they make their way into Eagle Ridge Conference Center on Friday for a ceremony to recognize those who received General Education Development certificates this academic term. following a ceremony Friday at Eagle Ridge Conference Center on the Raymond Campus.

Hinds student and noted fashion and costume designer Nina Ghaffari spoke to this year’s recipients on a message of not giving up despite background and circumstances. Ghaffari, 34, a sociology and human rights major at the Jackson Campus – Academic/Technical Center, was born in Mississippi and received a GED in 1998 from Hinds but was taken to live in her father’s native Iran for 12 years before finding her way back to the United States.

Nina Ghaffari, guest speaker at Friday’s ceremony to recognize those who received a General Education Development certificate this academic term, receives a plaque from Carla Causey, district director of Adult Education at Hinds Community College.

Nina Ghaffari, guest speaker at Friday’s ceremony to recognize those who received a General Education Development certificate this academic term, receives a plaque from Carla Causey, district director of Adult Education at Hinds Community College.

“Risks are all about uncertainty and building a more confident you,” Ghaffari said. “If we take risks on a daily basis, we become confident to take bigger risks. Life is too short to live small.”

Recipients of GED certificates and their stated hometowns included:

  • Lela Bryant, of Flora
  • Ashley Byrd, of Jackson
  • Angela Constancio, of Vicksburg
  • Thomas Brandon Ealey, of Jackson
  • Amber Hohlt, of Jackson
  • Jared Landry, of Clinton
  • Fay Lundy, of Bolton
  • Charles Leager III, of Byram
  • William Liggins, of Vicksburg
  • Malcolm Mobley, of Clinton
  • Tanu Narula, of Clinton
  • Andrew Robinson, of Vicksburg
  • Jessica Roberts, of Vicksburg
  • Curtis West, of Clinton
  • Tauras Williams, of Clinton
  • Victoria Williams, of Clinton

Ealey, Landry and Mobley were Honor Students, with Ealey, Bryant, Byrd and Liggins also recipients of $500 scholarships from the Education Pays program. Begun in 2009, the program is a partnership between Hinds and the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation and awards checks to all Hinds CC Warren GED recipients over the age of 21.

Mobley received a $500 scholarship from Hinds’ Adult Education Advisory Committee.

Hinds offers a tuition free class to all first time college students who are admitted with a GED. The college also offers a $1,000 academic scholarship that is equivalent to the ACT Scholarship for high scoring GED achievers. For more information, visit www.hindscc.edu.

0 1432 16 June, 2015 News more
Hinds CC honors Neilsen, Alumni Service Award winner
Posted by
22 October

Hinds CC honors Neilsen, Alumni Service Award winner

RayNeilsen_portrait_JPatterson

 

Neilsen

Hinds Community College will honor Ray Neilsen, the 2014 Alumni Service Award winner, at the Alumni Dinner, held at 5 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 23 in Mayo Gymnasium on the Raymond Campus.

Neilsen believes in second chances. His second chance came at the College of Idaho where history professor Howard Berger saw potential, while others saw a brash kid from a middle-upper class family who was passed from grade to grade, more trouble than untapped potential.

The relationship got off to a rocky start when Berger challenged Neilsen’s ability to read. He recalls the “horrible” experience of being asked to read aloud and struggling to string the words together. After taking a written entrance exam, Berger told Neilsen, “Ray, your writing skills stink.”

“I didn’t know how bad I was until I met someone who cared about me and my success,” Neilsen says. “He opened my eyes to the value of education and learning.”

It was just the second chance he needed. With Berger’s help — and a lot of hard work and dedication — Neilsen committed himself to his education, earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Over a 20-year period, Neilsen earned his way up the ladder, from busser to chairman of Ameristar Casinos with eight locations in six states and more than 7,000 employees.

Neilsen began his relationship with Hinds in 2006 when his passion for learning surfaced in an onsite GED preparation program at Ameristar Casino in Vicksburg. As general manager he recognized that many Ameristar team members missed opportunities to grow with the company because they lacked a high school diploma. Their second chance came with a boss who gave them a pathway to personal fulfillment and $1,000 when they passed the GED test.

His father, Craig H. Neilsen, was the founder of Ameristar Casino. “He was proud of the GED program we established at Ameristar Vicksburg,” Ray Neilsen says. Wanting to make a bigger impact in his adopted community of Vicksburg, Neilsen called upon the resources of the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation, which was established by his father in 2002 to support spinal cord injury (SCI) research and rehabilitation. Ten percent of the foundation’s resources go to other entities helping to improve lives.

Craig Neilsen, who became quadriplegic after a 1985 car accident, rarely spoke about his injury, but once said, “…I think that most people – when push comes to shove – take their hard knocks and then pick up the pieces and go on.”

Perhaps prophetically, the Neilsen Foundation is doing just that – helping Adult Education students pick up the sometimes messy pieces of their lives and go on to better things. With Ray Neilsen’s urging, the Neilsen Foundation made a $50,000 gift in 2009 to establish the Education Pays program, which awarded $500 checks to Warren County GED achievers enrolled in the college’s Adult Education program.

From that initial investment, the foundation has awarded more than $600,000 to support the ABE/GED program at the Vicksburg-Warren Campus and the Jackson Campus-Academic/Technical Center. From a computer lab staffed by tutors to instructional dollars to provide more class time for adult learners, the Neilsen Foundation has been the college’s partner in improving outcomes in Adult Education. This year Neilsen Foundation funds support a Single Stop office at the Vicksburg-Warren Campus and a basic computer applications course designed specifically for adult learners who must now take a computer-based GED test.

Most recently, the Neilsen Foundation is funding scholarships and supplemental support for two Hinds students with spinal cord injuries. After his father’s death in 2006, Ray Neilsen was named cotrustee and chairman of the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation.

“After several years of therapy, my dad only had limited use of a few of his fingers, nothing else,” Neilsen explains. “The accident only slowed him down for a little while, and over time, his focus and attention became more laser-like and intense.”

Those same words might be used to describe Ray Neilsen, says Colleen Hartfield, vice president for Community Relations and Governmental Affairs at Hinds. “When Ray makes a decision to be personally involved in a project or a cause, he’s all-in. He expects that same commitment from others.”

She credits the Neilsen Foundation for being a catalyst for positive changes in the Adult Education program. “Ray doesn’t just write a check; he brings resources and connections gained over a successful career to the college. Most of all, he brings a genuine concern, coupled with an incredible drive to make a difference,” Hartfield says, adding with a laugh. “It can be exhausting trying to keep up with his mind.”

Neilsen says, “There’s this crazed energy, under the surface. It’s doesn’t make my life easy, but I can’t imagine doing it any other way.”

Today, Neilsen and his wife Nancy, a Vicksburg native, live in Edwards on a meticulously landscaped ranch, where visitors will find a rock garden. Etched into the rocks are words that describe his personal brand, and nestled among words such as “integrity,” “courage” and “family,” are rocks inscribed with “Hinds Community College” and “GED.”

“It’s a place of honor,” Hartfield says. “I am so pleased that the college is responding, in kind, and recognizing Ray with the very well-deserved Alumni Service Award.”

Neilsen says he is honored and pleased to accept on behalf of the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation and the Adult Education students at Hinds Community College.

“I believe the American dream is still alive,” he says. “However, I tell students in the program that to succeed, an education is paramount. I tell them that education gives you hope that your life can be better. I teach them what my Dad taught me—success must be earned, and you must do what you do better than anybody else. That’s the difference the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation and Hinds CC are making in the lives of Adult Education students and in our community. It is my intention that our partnership will continue for many years to come.”

0 2418 22 October, 2014 News more
Posted by on 29 May

Hinds CC honors GED achievers with June 5 ceremony

More than 75 General Education Development certificate achievers who live in the Hinds Community College district will be recognized during a ceremony to be held at 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 5 in Cain-Cochran Hall on the Raymond Campus.

The speaker for the ceremony will be the Honorable Winston Kidd, circuit judge for the 7th Circuit Court District in Hinds County and member of the Adult Education/Dropout Recovery Advisory Board. Judge Kidd was appointed by Gov. Ronnie Musgrove. He currently presides over Civil and Criminal Court in Hinds County.

kidd_web

Kidd was born and raised in Newton County and has been a resident of Hinds County for more than 15 years. He received his bachelor’s degree, graduating cum laude, in respiratory therapy from the University of Mississippi in 1987. After working as a registered respiratory therapist for one year, he enrolled at Mississippi College School of Law where he received his law degree in 1991.

Prior to his appointment to the bench, Judge Kidd worked as an attorney with the Walker and Walker law firm in Jackson for approximately 10 years. His practice was primarily limited to civil litigation.

Judge Kidd is committed to mentoring youth. He has delivered many speeches and lectures in dozens of schools and churches. He serves as a mentor to a student at Lester Elementary in the Big Brothers\Big Sisters Program. Further, Judge Kidd serves as a mentor to several Jackson high school students along with other Magnolia Bar attorneys. He is married to Adriane Dorsey-Kidd and they are the parents of Winston Jamal and Jacob Jabari.

There will be something new at this year’s ceremony — the “GED Champion” Award, which will go to a faculty or staff member who has shown exceptional support to GED students throughout their journeys.

Doug Williams, Hinds CC soccer coach, will be leading the invocation and benediction. Ray Neilsen and Trish Oba will also be attending the graduation and will be recognized for the support of the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation.

The partnership between Hinds and the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation program, which began in 2009, launched the Education Pays program that awards a $500 check to all Hinds CC Warren County GED recipients over the age of 21.

The Neilsen Foundation is extending the Education Pays program to the Jackson Campus – Academic-Technical Center in 2014. Since 2009, Hinds CC has received six grants from the Neilsen Foundation, totaling more than $575,000, providing financial support for teacher salaries, tutors, computer equipment and testing assistance.

Education Pays isn’t the only award GED recipients get at Hinds; the college offers a tuition free class to all first time college students who are admitted with a GED. The college also offers a $1,000 academic scholarship that is equivalent to the ACT Scholarship for high scoring GED achievers.

For more information, visit www.hindscc.edu.

0 2407 29 May, 2014 News more
Posted by on 06 August

Fall GED test dates help with 2013 deadline

People who aspire to finish their General Education Development (GED) high school equivalency certificate should connect with Hinds Community College’s Adult Basic Education/GED program and make a special effort to finish in 2013.

The official GED test will change in 2014 and will be more difficult and more expensive. Plus, the test will move from a pencil and paper test to a computer-based test.

Those aspiring to finish their GED credential can only take the test three times in 2013 before scores on sections already passed expire and the new test is implemented on Jan. 1, 2014.

Hinds’ Adult Basic Education program offers test dates throughout the remainder of the calendar year.

Call 601.857.3912 for more information or see the website at http://www.hindscc.edu/Departments/abe_ged/default.aspx

Fall dates and contact information include the following:

Jackson Campus-Academic/Technical Center 601.987.8763 or 601.987.8150

Orientation: Wednesday, Sept. 4, 8:30 a.m. Test: Saturday, Sept. 21, 8:30 a.m.

Orientation: Wednesday, Oct. 2, 8:30 a.m. Test: Saturday, Oct. 19, 8:30 a.m.

Orientation: Tuesday, Nov. 5, 8:30 a.m. Test: Saturday, Nov. 16, 8:30 a.m.

Orientation: Tuesday, Dec. 10, 8:30 a.m. Test: Saturday, Dec. 14, 8:30 a.m.

Raymond Campus – District Adult Education Center– 601.987.8763

Orientation: Thursday, Sept. 5, 9:30 a.m. Test: Thursday, Sept. 12, 9:30 a.m.; Friday, Sept. 13, 9:30 a.m.

Orientation: Thursday, Oct. 3, 9:30 a.m. Test: Thursday, Oct. 10, 9:30 a.m.; Friday, Oct. 11, 9:30 a.m.

Orientation: Friday, Oct. 25, 9:30 a.m. Test: Thursday, Nov. 7, 9:30 a.m.; Friday, Nov. 8, 9:30 a.m.

Orientation: Tuesday, Dec 3, 9:30 a.m. Test: Thursday, Dec. 5, 9:30 a.m.; Friday, Dec. 6, 9:30 a.m.

Raymond Campus – Denton Hall – 601.857.3467 or 601.857.3852

Orientation: Monday, Sept. 9, 8:30 a.m. Test: Monday, Sept. 16, 8:30 a.m.; Tuesday, Sept. 17, 8:30 a.m.

Orientation: Monday, Oct. 7, 8:30 a.m. Test: Monday, Oct. 15, 8:30 a.m.; Tuesday, Oct. 16, 8:30 a.m.

Orientation: Monday, Nov. 4, 8:30 a.m. Test: Monday, Nov. 11, 8:30 a.m.; Tuesday, Nov. 12, 8:30 a.m.

Orientation: Monday, Dec. 2 8:30 a.m. Test: Monday, Dec. 9, 8:30 a.m.; Tuesday, Dec. 10, 8:30 a.m.

Utica Campus – 601.885.7022/7128 or 601.987.8763

Orientation and testing will be held in Walter Washington Administration Building, Room 130

Orientation: Monday, Oct. 7, 8:30 a.m. Test: Tuesday, Oct. 8, 8:30 a.m.; Wednesday, Oct. 9, 8:30 a.m.

Vicksburg-Warren Campus – 601.629.6873

Orientation: Wednesday, Aug.14, 9:30 a.m. Test: Wednesday, Aug. 21, 9:30 a.m.

Orientation: Wednesday, Aug. 28, 9:30 a.m. Test: Wednesday, Sept. 4, 9:30 a.m.

Orientation: Wednesday, Sept.11, 9:30 a.m. Test: Wednesday, Sept. 18, 9:30 a.m.

Orientation: Wednesday, Sept. 25, 9:30 a.m. Test: Wednesday, Oct. 2, 9:30 a.m.

Orientation: Wednesday, Oct. 23, 9:30 a.m. Test: Wednesday, Oct. 30, 9:30 a.m.

Orientation: Wednesday, Nov. 6, 9:30 a.m. Test: Wednesday, Nov. 13, 9:30 a.m.

Orientation: Wednesday, Nov. 20, 9:30 a.m. Test: Wednesday, Dec. 4, 9:30 a.m.

Orientation: Wednesday, Dec. 11, 9:30 a.m. Test: Wednesday, Dec. 18, 9:30 a.m.

 

0 3471 06 August, 2013 News more
Posted by on 13 June

GED prep classes offered throughout summer

Hinds Community College is beginning new classes for people who aspire to finish their General Education Development (GED) high school equivalency certificate before the current test expires at the end of 2013.

 

Open registration dates for classes through Hinds Community College’s Adult Basic Education/GED program are as follows:

 

  • June 25 and July 16 at Jackson Campus-Academic/Technical Center on Sunset Drive, contact Bobby Sacus, 601.987.8150;

 

  • June 28 and July 19 at the Raymond Campus, Lois Barnes-Perkins, 601.857.3912;

 

  • June 27 and July 18 at the Vicksburg-Warren Campus, contact Cleopatra Erves, 601.629.6873.

 

All times are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.

 

The official GED test will change in 2014 and will be more difficult and more expensive. Plus, the test will move from a pencil and paper test to a computer-based test.

 

Those aspiring to finish their GED credential can only take the test three times in 2013 before scores on sections already passed expire and the new test is implemented on Jan. 1, 2014.

 

Hinds’ Adult Basic Education program also offers test dates throughout the remainder of the calendar year.

 

Call 601.857.3912 for more information. For a complete list of the test dates for the remainder of 2013 see the college website at http://www.hindscc.edu/Departments/abe_ged/test_dates.aspx.

 

Summer dates and contact information include the following:

 

Jackson Campus-Academic/Technical Center 601.987.8763 or 601.987.8150

Orientation:
Thursday, July 18, 8:30 a.m. Test: Saturday, July 27, 8:30 a.m.

Orientation:
Thursday, Aug. 1, 8:30 a.m. Test: Saturday, Aug. 10, 8:30 a.m.

Raymond Campus – District Adult Education Center– 601.987.8763

Orientation: Thursday, June 13, 9:30 a.m. Test: Thursday, June 20, 9:30 a.m.; Friday, June 21, 9:30 a.m.

Orientation: Wednesday, Aug. 7, 9:30 a.m. Test: Thursday, Aug. 15, 9:30 a.m.; Friday, August 16, 9:30 a.m.

 

Raymond Campus – Denton Hall – 601.857.3467 or 601.857.3852

Orientation: Monday, July 8, 8:30 a.m. Test: Monday, July 15, 8:30 a.m.;

Tuesday, July 16, 8:30 a.m.

 

Utica Campus – 601.885.7022/7128 or 601.987.8763

Orientation and testing will be held in Walter Washington Administration Building, Room 130
Orientation: Monday, July 1, 8:30 a.m. Test: Tuesday, July 2, 8:30 a.m.; Wednesday, July 3, 8:30 a.m.
Vicksburg-Warren Campus – 601.629.6873
Orientation: Wednesday, July 17, 9:30 a.m. Test: Wednesday, July 24, 9:30 a.m.

Orientation: Wednesday, July 31, 9:30 a.m. Test: Wednesday, Aug. 7, 9:30 a.m.

Orientation: Wednesday, Aug. 14, 9:30 a.m. Test: Wednesday, Aug. 21, 9:30 a.m.

0 5075 13 June, 2013 News more