Donated photo. Pictured is Gabi Parris, 2020 Haywood Community College High School Equivalency graduate. She plans to enroll in HCC’s Forest Management Technology program.

When Gabi Parris came back to school to finish a high school credential, she waited until the time was right in her life so she could concentrate all her efforts on completion. “I wanted to get a High School Equivalency because of the opportunities it will bring,” she explains. “When I decided to come back I wanted to be able to focus on graduating.”

The timing paid off as Parris completed the program this year at Haywood Community College. She gives credit to the awesome family support she received. With a three-year old son, Parris finished the program as a mom to a busy toddler. 

In 2016, Parris dropped out of high school as a junior because she had a difficult pregnancy that caused her to miss several days of class in a row. Attending HCC, she found the program set-up allowed her to work at her own pace.

While Parris is currently working to manage a campaign for a friend who is running for senate, her plans are to return to the classroom at HCC to pursue a degree in Forest Management Technology and eventually become a forest ranger. She considers this a perfect career for her because she loves being outdoors and in nature.  

Day, evening, and online classes are available through the College & Career Readiness department. Anyone interested in obtaining a High School Equivalency Diploma may choose from two convenient options: the traditional classroom setting or online classes. The department also offers an Adult High School program for students who are age 16 and older. The Adult High School classes are taught on the main campus, Monday through Friday. Students may also choose to complete the diploma online.

For additional information about obtaining a High School Equivalency Diploma or HCC’s Adult High School or Career College Program, please call 627-4700.