HCC students realize the importance of education

By Diana Conard | May 08, 2014
Photo by: Debra Davis SUCCESS — Pictured is recent HCC High School Equivalency Diploma graduate Gregory Rushing with his wife, Kathryn, and children, Maleya and Gregory Jr.

Even though Randy Janes has received two promotions since starting back to school for a High School Equivalency Diploma (formerly known as GED), that is not the reason he decided to pursue the credential.

“It was a matter of personal satisfaction,” he said. “It’s something I wanted to do for years. High school is your first challenge and when you quit, you are labeled a quitter. When I would try to get a better job, the word I would always hear was no.”

Janes went straight to work when he dropped out of high school. The problem he encountered wasn’t getting a job — it was getting a good job.

Now Janes works for Housing and Urban Development. While he has worked there for 25 years, he started out mowing grass and cleaning toilets. When he made the choice to come back to school, he got two promotions which motivated him further.

“If my employer was giving me the opportunity to advance,” Janes said, “I owed it to them to continue my education.”

Janes also received motivation from the instructors at HCC.

“Every time I came to a hurdle, someone at HCC motivated me.” And Janes did encounter hurdles. While at HCC, both his father and sister passed away.

With a High School Equivalency Diploma under his belt, Janes plans to continue classes at HCC as time allows.

“I wanted to get this diploma for years,” he said. “It took me a long time to realize that as a teenager I was being offered something I needed, a high school education. Out of five siblings, none of us finished high school.”

Brianna Huskey knew the importance of a high school education while still a teenager but when her family moved here from Georgia, the credits required to graduate differed so much that there was no way she could finish on time. So she turned to HCC to complete the requirements through the Adult High School program.

What is unique for Huskey is that she completed the program with her father, Kenneth Gibson. Both say they were able to encourage and support each other.

Gibson wanted to come back to school to be able to provide better for his family. He was orphaned at the age of 13 and had to choose between going to school and going to work to provide the basic necessities of shelter and food for himself.

“You have to have a high school credential to get a decent paying job,” Gibson said. “It opens up a lot better doors.”

Gibson says he while it bothered him to go back to school as a middle-aged student, once he started it was not a concern. “I noticed there were not only younger students around me but students that were older than me,” he said. “I could tell that the instructors actually cared. They worked with me face-to-face and gave individualized time with each student.”

The college held a High School Equivalency Diploma and Adult High School Graduation Ceremony recently where more than 130 students were honored. The Adult High School award winner was Tosha M. Dakin. The High School Equivalency Diploma award winner was Juan P. Sanchez-Garcia.

Day, evening and online classes are available through the College and Career Readiness Department. Those interested in obtaining a High School Equivalency Diploma may choose from two convenient options: the traditional classroom setting or online classes.

For additional information about obtaining a High School Equivalency Diploma or HCC’s AHS Program, call 627-4648.

Diana Conard is works in the marketing and communications office at HCC.

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