BCC student completes skilled career and high school credentials simultaneously

DUBLIN – Bladen Community College student Kimberlee Sessoms is not afraid of a challenge. In May, she graduated as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) and received her high school diploma through the college readiness program.

“My dad and grandparents were my inspiration,” remarked Sessoms. “My dad died two years ago, and he wanted me to get an education.”

In middle school, Sessoms was an excellent student. In the seventh grade, she tested into the Duke University Talent Identification Program (TIP), and was always at the top of her class. But high school presented Sessoms with a different environment and difficult personal choices. She never finished high school.

“I just made bad decisions,” she stated. “I took the wrong road.”

Over the next year, she worked on her high school credentials at Bladen Community College twice, never completing the program.

“I wanted so much to make my dad and grandparents proud of me,” recounted Sessoms, so she enrolled again in a high school credentialing class at BCC. While she was working at a gas station, a friend’s mother encouraged her to consider taking the CNA classes while working on her GED.

Sessoms remembered the journey. “It was hard. My grandparents drove me to and from class every day.”

But weeks before she would graduate, her grandmother became ill and died on the same day that Sessoms finished her last class at BCC.

“It’s been such a long process,” she stated. “But I have tried really hard to turn my life around, and that is what matters to me.”

Travis Locklear, director for college readiness, described Sessoms’ commitment as inspirational to both students and faculty.

“Kimberlee has really persevered,” he remarked. “She is a great example to others.”

Bladen Community College has opportunities for students to get the education they need for the future they want. For information about high school credentials, curriculum courses, or certified work skills careers, call 910.879.5500.

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