Hannah Cranfield of Vicksburg was thinking of going into a medical field but then discovered Hinds Community College’s computer coding and programming option.
Hinds teaches the program at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Research and Development Center in Vicksburg.
Draped with honor cords, Cranfield, 21, said she “did very well” in the program. “I tried this, and I actually liked it, so I stuck with it,” she said.
On Friday, July 31, Cranfield was among more than 600 students participating in a drive-thru graduation ceremony over a four-day period.
Because of social distancing restrictions with the COVID-19 pandemic, Hinds was unable to have traditional ceremonies inside. The spring and summer ceremonies were combined and turned into a drive-thru event over three days at Eagle Ridge Conference Center in Raymond, from July 29 to July 31, and a fourth day at the Utica Campus, Aug. 1.
Each graduate was greeted by the new college president, Dr. Stephen Vacik, who took office July 1, and cheered on by members of the Executive Leadership Team, all of whom wore masks.
Nile Owusu of Jackson received a degree in automotive technology as part of his long-range plan to excel in the military.
“I like doing things with my hands,” he said. “It worked out pretty good. It’s not a hard program as long as you do what you’re supposed to be doing and as long as you do your responsibilities.”
Ebony Yarbor, 38 of Jackson is hoping to get a job teaching with her degree in culinary arts.
“I want to teach students how to grow food and how to eat properly. What you put in your body is what you are,” she said. “I was facing health issues and obesity. I thought, ‘Let me go and look into how to properly eat, more nutritionally. Maybe I can learn it, save myself and use those skills to help somebody else.’ ”
Jennifer Moore, 46, of Lena received a degree in banking and financing
She said she plans “to enjoy a minute off and then enroll in the spring for a bachelor’s degree at Mississippi State University. I always dreamed of having a degree and regretted that I didn’t finish.”
She said her workplace is paying for her studies. “It doesn’t matter how old I am. I was determined to have it,” she said. “I was a late bloomer.”