Female inmates change lives through HSE program

Published 3:00 pm Sunday, July 7, 2024

Nine women dressed in robes of distinction celebrated as they crossed the auditorium stage on the Rankin Campus in recognition of receiving their High School Equivalency credential.

Fifteen women in all from the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility achieved their High School Equivalency (HSE) credential in 2024 through Hinds’ Adult Education program. Graduates who did not attend the June 17 ceremony were women who were recently released from prison and were unable to attend.

Graduates posed for pictures with friends, family and college officials including Vice President of Workforce Development & Governmental Affairs Dr. Ginger Robbins and Hinds President Dr. Stephen Vacik.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“You are on the threshold of a new beginning,” Dr. Vacik said in his opening remarks. “This is a testament to your strength and unwavering resolve. You have signified that you are willing and committed to finish the work in the face of many obstacles from your past, and obstacles you may face at home.” 

Graduate Dana Cain, who is from Alabama, celebrated with some of her family who came for the ceremony. Her daughter Tamara Lane said the ceremony and reception were a pleasant sur-prise.

“This was all really unexpected. I’m really proud of my mom; it’s a great accomplishment for her,” Lane said as she wrapped her arm around her mother’s shoulders for a tight side hug.

“I’m really proud of myself, too,” Cain said to her daughter. “This is probably the first thing I’ve ever finished in my life.” They laughed, took selfies and talked to other family members over the phone.

Cain said she hasn’t decided on what she is doing after her release, but said she feels like she has more options now that she has a credential. But another graduate, Melisa Temple of Ripley, knows exactly what she wants to do and is ready to enroll.

“So, I’m the one everybody comes to when their computers won’t act right,” Temple said. “I’m 56, so it’s a big deal for me to be getting my diploma. I’m really excited about getting out, too. I’m al-ready in the Smart Start program and I will be taking computer classes at Hinds.”

Hinds CC provides educational services to inmates in cooperation with community, state and federal partners whose ongoing support helps provide these students with scholarships, student reward incentives and helps Hinds bring this service to the facility free of charge to the participants. HCC has adult education services at all six locations.