When Leah McBride walked across the stage to receive an Adult High School diploma from Haywood Community College’s College & Career Readiness Department, she became the fourth of her siblings to celebrate the milestone.


Pictured is Amber Summey, 2021 Haywood Community College High School Equivalency graduate. She plans to enroll in HCC’s pottery classes.

When Leah McBride walked across the stage recently to receive an Adult High School diploma from Haywood Community College’s College & Career Readiness Department, she became the fourth of her siblings to celebrate the milestone. Being the youngest, she watched a sister and two brothers take the same journey and decided to follow in their footsteps.

McBride explains all the things she liked about HCC’s program. “I wanted to get a jump start on college and I liked the flexibility of the schedule. I could choose to do the work from home or come in person.”

For McBride, it was a good feeling to know she had easy access to the instructors.

This was also an important factor for Amber Summey, who also walked across the stage this year to earn a High School Equivalency. In traditional public high school, she felt like she did not get enough attention from the teachers. Coupled with a lot of drama, Summey decided to drop out of school over six years ago while in tenth grade.

After seeing a post on social media about an acquaintance going through the program at HCC, she decided to return to the classroom.

The decision was the right one for Summey. “At HCC, the teachers would take time to sit down and help me understand the material,” she explains. “It made me feel more comfortable that they made sure I was learning what I was supposed to be.”

Now Summey is planning to continue at HCC and hopes to take pottery. She encourages anyone who hasn’t finished high school credentials to check out the program at HCC.

As for McBride, she has her sights set on opening a small business. She dreams of having a bakery where she can make a living from one of her passions.

Day, evening and online classes are available through the College & Career Readiness department. For additional information about obtaining a High School Equivalency Diploma or Adult High School credential, please call 627-4700.