Brittney Byers sits with her sons Jamen, 1, left, and Compton, 4. The single mom is currently enrolled in the cosmetology program at CNCC after earning her GED diploma in December.

Photo by Darian Warden

Brittney Byers sits with her sons Jamen, 1, left, and Compton, 4. The single mom is currently enrolled in the cosmetology program at CNCC after earning her GED diploma in December.

Craig resident reflects on earning GED diploma at CNCC

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“I realized it was a mistake dropping out of high school and I wanted to do something. You can’t do much without a diploma. It was hard though. I wish I would’ve stayed in school because that was pretty easy and the GED was so hard.”

CNCC student Brittney Byers about dropping out of high school, earning her GED and enrolling at CNCC in Craig

Brittney Byers works hard.

The single mother of two spends long and busy days at Colorado Northwestern Community College in Craig while also ferrying her kids to the different places they need to be.

And getting to this point in her life was a challenge itself.

Byers, a Craig native, dropped out of high school during her junior year. After an eight-year hiatus from school, Byers decided to earn her GED diploma.

GED, or General Educational Development, tests are a series of five exams in the areas of language arts writing, social studies, science, language arts reading and math.

Byers had previously taken and passed three of the tests.

“It took me a good six months everyday up there (at CNCC) taking classes to be able to pass (the other two),” Byers said.

Byers completed her GED in December 2012 and enrolled in the cosmetology program at CNCC, where she is currently in her fourth week of classes.

“I realized it was a mistake dropping out of high school and I wanted to do something. You can’t do much without a diploma,” Byers said. “It was hard though. I wish I would’ve stayed in school because that was pretty easy and the GED was so hard.”

Byers said she hopes she can pass that lesson on to her sons, Compton, 4, and Jamen, one-and-a-half.

Although she grew up in Craig, Byers said she never gave CNCC much thought as an option.

Now that she’s older, the convenience of having the babysitter, preschool and CNCC so close by is a wonderful resource for her and her boys.

“I’m a single mom with these two. Getting to preschool, the babysitters and school makes for an interesting day,” Byers said.

A typical day involves waking the kids and getting them to the babysitters by 8 a.m. to make it to class at 8:30 a.m. Byers then leaves at lunch to pick up Compton and take him to preschool. From there, Byer’s grandmother usually picks Compton up while Byers gets Jamen from the sitter around 5 p.m.

“It’s crazy,” Byers said.

CNCC is an accredited GED testing center and is moving to a computerized format for the exam. CNCC marketing director Jeff Stoddard said the college also is looking to waive the $110 fee for the test by offering that amount off of a student’s first semester tuition.

Having a conversation with Compton, it seems Byers shouldn’t worry about him dropping out of high school. Rather, it appears it’s Byers’ work ethic that has rubbed off.

Compton talked about how he likes preschool and games, especially Angry Birds. Compton said he’s gotten pretty good at the game.

“You just have to keep trying at it,” Compton said.

Darian Warden can be reached at 875-1793 or dwarden@craigdailypress.com

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