FERRIER FILES: Stories hide under every cap at Wilson Co. adult high school graduation
WILSON COUNTY, Tenn. —
In the Wilson County Adult High School graduating class of 2017, there is a great story under every mortar board.
“Obstacles; everyone there has overcome some kind of obstacle,” Principal Mary Ashby said.
Armen Brooks is 25 years old. He dropped out 7 years ago, exchanging high school for prison.
“It was just like: how I got there, all the things I did to get there, and none of it was worth it," Brooks said. "I threw all my life away for something petty. It was rough."
The day he got out, Armen came directly to adult high school. He said seven years of self-examination gave him an idea. He wanted to be an electrician, but the first step was a high school diploma.
“I've never had the opportunity to prove and show that I am actually a good guy, and I’m not he guy who always makes mistakes and is always in trouble,” Brooks said.
Now he is a high school graduate and an apprentice electrician with Thompson electric. He said he feels good about everything including himself.
“There is no judgment zone here." Ashby said. "We take you where you are, and we take you where you need to be."
Lisa Scott also has a story full of obstacles. She spent years homeless with her family bouncing around from city to city, dropping into schools and dropping out.
“Everybody would be like 'how old are you,' and I would be two years older than everyone,” Scott said. "They would stare at me cockeyed. I just got tired of it."
Things would get worse for Scott. Her dad went to jail, and then her mother died in a car accident. She was a homeless orphan.
Scott and her five sisters were taken in by an aunt.
“Life is not easy, and things happen for a reason,” Scott said. "That makes me a stronger person by having to grow up faster."
Make no mistake; Scott talks tough, but this was all hard and it hurt.
“To have all of this at a young age and to not have a mother is terrifying," Scott said. "I wish she was still here."
It was a night to remember for each of the 146 adults who graduated high school in Wilson County this year.