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Students persevere, earn GED in BHS program

Phylisha Stubbs’ special guest at her high school graduation ceremony Thursday was her 10-month-old daughter, De’Asia.

The little girl in the white, sparkly princess dress is the reason Stubbs persevered and received her Graduation Equivalency Diploma through the Brookhaven School District high school equivalency option program.

“I want to do for my daughter and make her life better,” she said.

Stubbs, 20, was joined by Terrence Thrasher at the ceremony at Fannie L. Mullins Alternative Campus.

Thrasher, 19, said he had some rough times at Brookhaven High School. He admitted he wasn’t focused and played too much. The traditional high school setting didn’t work for him, but he found his footing in the GED program.

He didn’t give up, even when he was one point shy of passing the GED test. He took it again with success.

“I wanted something so I could get a good job,” he said. “I don’t want to give up.”

Thrasher plans to attend Copiah-Lincoln Community College. He wants to be a welder.

Fixing metal isn’t on Stubbs’ game plan. She wants to fix people.

Now that she’s got her GED, the mom wants to become a nurse. She hasn’t settled on a school yet, but she’s taking those steps toward her goal.

To enter the program at Fannie Mullins, students must show at least a ninth-grade mastery of skills. Dorothy Quinn, the GED option instructor for BHS, crafts a program designed just for them.

In Stubbs’ case, that was to work around her pregnancy and her daughter’s birth.

Quinn considers her work with the students a ministry.

“I love these babies,” she said. “And my heart is to serve others by serving the Lord and serving these young children.”

She said Stubbs and Thrasher faced people who thought they couldn’t learn.

“God said ‘Yes, they can.’ Mrs. Quinn said ‘Yes, you can’ and ‘Yes, we will.’ I’m happy I was part of their life,” she said.

Janee’ Harrison, director of the alternative educational services for the Brookhaven School District, said the young students showed great courage and determination in completing the program’s requirements. She said she expects them to become prosperous adults who give back to the community.

“They have risen up time and time again,” she said.

Harrison gave two awards to the graduates — Most Consistent Effort and Spirit of Determination.

“Each of them wins that award,” Harrison said.

She and Rod Henderson, deputy superintendent for the district, presented the students with their GED certificates to a round of applause from the dozens of people there.

“This is a tremendous accomplishment,” Henderson said. “That test is not simple. It’s difficult.”