Tuesday, July 15, 2014


MAYHEW – For Tristian Tribble of Cedar Bluff, impatience is a virtue.

Bored with high school and confident she was ready to begin her life, the 17-year-old left school to earn her GED at East Mississippi
Community College last fall. By this summer she had already completed the Certified Nursing Assistant course through EMCC’s Manufacturing Technology and Engineering Division with a 4.0 GPA, passed her state board exams on the first attempt, interned for 270 hours at Dugan Memorial Hospital in West Point and registered for a full-time academic course load at EMCC this fall.

She’ll apply for acceptance to the Practical Nursing program in 2015, the year she was supposed to graduate high school.

“I’m really impatient, but my impatience paid off. Nursing has always been a dream and I would rather hurry up and fulfill that dream,” said Tribble.

Tribble has wanted to be a nurse for years, since watching her grandmother, Betty Tribble, care for her disabled uncle. She’s not 100 percent certain she’ll be a nurse for life, but she is certain she made the correct choice in leaving high school, despite the lingering stigma attached to a GED.

“I had a lot of second thoughts about getting a GED because of jobs, but everyone’s accepting that now. My grandmother never thought her granddaughter, a straight-A student, would get a GED. But she finally accepted it, and that’s gotten me a long way,” she said.

“I told my grandmother that if she ever got sick, I’d be the one to take care of her.”

Grant Taylor, a VISTA volunteer working with the MTE Division at EMCC who counseled Tribble along with MTE youth grant coordinator Sha’Carla Petty, said the decision to leave high school early isn’t for everyone.

“Tristian is very mature and very ambitious. She’s also very persistent and bugged us a lot about having everything in order, including filling out her CNA application long before it was due. She does get impatient, but we’ve been able to calm her down and help her through the process,” said Taylor.

Tribble will begin taking academic courses at EMCC’s Golden Triangle campus in August before applying to the PN program. Naturally, she’s “very impatient about starting school,” but has a number of options in front of her. Having experienced full nursing duties during her time at Dugan, she could already pursue a job as a CNA, and she got additional experience as an office assistant in EMCC’s Career-Technical administration office while taking CNA classes.

She also took the WorkKeys test, which is necessary for entrance into MTE Workforce courses, and both her CNA courses and the WorkKeys test were paid for with the $1,000 Workforce scholarship all EMCC GED students receive upon passing the test. Her internship at Dugan was facilitated by MTE’s C2C (Counseling to Career) program.

“EMCC has opened up a lot of doors for me, with the GED and a lot of programs to choose from,” she said.

To learn more about EMCC’s GED classes, which are free of charge, or the MTE division’s health care related certificate programs, visit eastms.edu or call the MTE Division at (662) 243-2686 for the Golden Triangle campus or (662) 476-5089 for the Scooba campus.


Tristian Tribble of Cedar Bluff checks the blood pressure of Grant Taylor, VISTA volunteer for East Mississippi Community College’s Manufacturing Technology and Engineering Division, at EMCC’s Golden Triangle campus. Tribble left high school early to earn her GED from EMCC and completed the Certified Nursing Assistant program and an internship before turning 18.