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More than 30 students receive GED diplomas at graduation

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More than 30 students receive GED diplomas at graduation

​Release date: Dec. 14, 2016

 

MAYHEW — Crawford resident Elizabeth Ross, 50, had worked at Sanderson Plumbing in Columbus for 24 years when the bankrupt toilet-seat maker shut its doors on April 29, 2014. Ross was finding it difficult to land a good job with no high school diploma, so earlier this year she returned to school after a 33-year absence.

 

On Dec. 8, she was among 34 East Mississippi Community College adult basic education students in the Launch Pad program who received their GED diplomas.

 

Ross said returning to school wasn’t easy and she almost threw in the towel a couple of times. 

 

“My kids kept saying, ‘Momma, you can do this. I am so proud of you,’” Ross said. “Everyone at adult basic education was awesome and kept encouraging me. That little bitty boost from everyone kept me going.”

 

Ross was a student at Caldwell High School, now Columbus High School, when she became pregnant at the age of 16. To further complicate matters, the school district had just gone through a redistricting process and Ross was told she was going to have to attend S.D. Lee Senior High School.

 

“I didn’t know anybody at Lee High School so I didn’t go back,” Ross said. “That was a bad reason to quit school but I used it as an excuse.”

 

Eventually she landed a job at Sanderson Plumbing, where all four of her children would later work. Ross worked her way up to the position of inspector in quality control and thought she would retire from the company.

 

“Sanderson Plumbing paid a lot of bills for me,” Ross said. “When it closed, a lot of people were impacted. Some of those folks had been there for 50 years.”

 

Finding work proved difficult. In June, she interviewed with an official at a local company who expressed interest in hiring her.

 

“She said, ‘Elizabeth, you need your GED. Is there any way you can go get it?’ Ross said. “I said, ‘Yes I can.’”

 

Ross immediately went to the Launch Pad program at EMCC to enroll. One of the first calls she made after learning she had passed her GED was to the official at the company who encouraged her to get her GED. Now, Ross is on the company’s call-back list as soon as a position becomes available.

 

Ross was among several students who spoke at the graduation ceremony.

 

“There is nothing in the world we can’t do once we apply ourselves to it,” Ross said. “Don’t let anyone tell you that trying to improve yourself is a waste of time because it is not.”

 

Adult Basic Education Director Jim Bearden said most of the students in this graduating class plan to continue their education at EMCC.

 

“The thing that stands out to me about this group is their desire to take it to the next step,” Bearden said. “As a whole, I think this group has shown more determination than any I can remember.”

 

EMCC President Dr. Thomas Huebner told the graduates to be thankful for the family members, friends and EMCC instructors who supported and encouraged them.

 

“When you get home tonight, take a strong look in the mirror,” Huebner said. “What I want you to see is hope and investment. I want you to see passion, action, influence and focus. I want you to see that you are smart, that you have possibilities and that the future is bright for you.”

Crawford resident Elizabeth Ross, center, was among 34 students who received their GED certificates Dec. 8 during a ceremony at EMCC’s Golden Triangle campus. Ross is pictured with her granddaughter, Jazmin Ross, 10; grandson, Pierre Ross Jr., 5; sister, Sheila Ross, back left; son, Pierre Ross Sr., and daughter-in-law, Dorothy Ross. 

 
 

CONGRATULATIONS

 

Here's is a list of the 34 students who received their GED certificates during a Dec. 8 graduation ceremony, along with three graduates who were unable to attend:

  • Maycel Allen of Cedar Bluff

  • Morgan Cantrell of West Point

  • Emily Coker of Ackerman

  • James Cooperwood of West Point

  • Issom Cowson of Columbus

  • Carrie Cummings of Columbus

  • John Deloach of Steens

  • Savannah Dickert of West Point

  • Makayla Duncan of Columbus

  • Justin Fore of Caledonia

  • John Gentile of Columbus

  • Sharon Gordon of Columbus

  • Nicholas Gray of West Point

  • Isaac Hatcher of Columbus

  • Tyshun Holman of West Point

  • Savannah House of Columbus

  • Clara King of Macon

  • Jarod Luna of Caledonia

  • Kiosha McDonald of Columbus

  • Garrett McWilliams of Braxton

  • MaryAnna Moseley of Maben

  • Kayla Oats of Eupora

  • Chris Pace of Caledonia

  • Melissa Phillips of Columbus

  • Christian Phillips of Hamilton

  • Casey Price of West Point

  • Abby Rasmussen of Columbus

  • Elizabeth Ross of Crawford

  • Chelsea Steele of Starkville

  • Luke Swails of Caledonia

  • James Swift of West Point

  • Clay Thompson of Starkville

  • Megan Traweek of Starkville

  • Ivy Thrasher of Starkville

  • Mahnaz Wahidi of Starkville

  • David Waldrep of West Point

  • Abbigayle White of Eupora

 
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