• 73°

GED graduates didn’t give up

Two months after delivering a baby boy, Destiny Gordon received another gift — her GED certificate.

Gordon, 18, walked two blocks every day to Fannie L. Mullins School to participate in the Brookhaven School District’s GED alternative graduation program.

She passed two of the required tests, then left the program to have her son, Graison Wilson.

“I quit high school and I didn’t think I was going to go back and do anything especially after I had Graison,” she said.

In pain from a C-section, Gordon still pushed herself to continue the program, passing her third section test. Then she got to math.

Mathematics was more of a struggle for the teenage mom than the other subjects, but program instructor Kristy Smith didn’t give up on her. They persevered and on Dec. 10 she took her math test and passed it.

“It was hard but it was worth it now,” she said.

Now Gordon has her sights set on the cosmetology program at Copiah-Lincoln Community College’s Wesson campus.

Her mother, Dixie Miller, said her daughter is determined to succeed.

“I’m proud of her. I knew she could do it,” she said. “She has determination.”

Three GED certificates were given out by LaRenda Harrison, director of Alternative Educational Services in the Brookhaven School District and GED option administrator.

Besides Gordon, graduates Austin Norris and Casidy Ballard, both 17, were celebrated at the ceremony Thursday surrounded with friends and family.

The three students wore caps and gowns and walked into the holiday-decorated classroom to “Pomp and Circumstance.”

Harrison shared a video by vocalist Andre Day singing “Rise Up,” the graduates’ theme song.

“Each one of our students in our GED program can attest to the fact that they rise up again and again in spite of the challenges, in spite of the obstacles that they may be facing, they rise up,” Harrison said.

Smith said each of the graduates came into the program for a different reason, but should be applauded for competing the strenuous tasks that were set before them.

“Life does not always give us what we want so sometimes we have to take an alternative path, but that does not mean you have to stop where you are. You keep pushing, and they did,” she said.

Besides the certificates of completion, Harrison presented additional awards at the ceremony.

She created the “I Got Next!” award that she gave to Jada McCall and D’Asia Mitchell, who are currently at various stages of the GED program working toward their own graduation.

McCall, who is one section away from completing her GED requirements, was present to accept her certificate.

“We are speaking it into existence that they got next, that they’re going to be next coming through here and graduating with us,” Harrison said.

She also gave Gordon an award for “Most Consistent Effort/Spirit of Determination.”