Newport family

Deborah Newport with her fiance and children. Newport will graduate in May with her HiSET diploma from the Wilson County Schools Adult Learning Center. From left are Laycee, 2; Deborah; Jackson, 1; Todd; Ayden, 7; and Jacob, 8.

Deborah Newport is a special young woman. She has four wonderful children and a fiancé who she thanks God for every day.

She is like most young mothers — somedays it is a juggling act just to get things done, but Deborah has learned what it means to survive. She knows that you cannot give up on what is important. For the time that we have known Deborah at the Adult Learning Center, putting others first is just what comes naturally even though she never had this example set for her.

It has not been an easy road for Deborah. She was an emancipated minor and a bride at the age of 16. She was in a homeschool educational program until financial obstacles were too challenging to overcome. At the age of 17 while still trying to get her diploma, she became pregnant. She enrolled at the Adult Learning Center in October 2010 for the first time in hopes of getting her high school equivalency diploma. Regretfully, Deborah became homeless, and her diploma was no longer her first priority.

In November 2014, Deborah came back to the Adult Learning Center for a short time. She was a mother of two, going through a divorce, and trying to make a better life for her family. Once again, life’s issues took priority over her education. It was too hard trying to make it work. She was living in an abandoned house and caring for her children.

Alone without anyone to help, Deborah admits this is where her life took a major decline. She is not proud of the choices she made at this time, but is thankful that she and her children survived. Her children were placed into foster homes for a six-month period before she got them back. She continued to struggle with an opioid addiction, but she did not give up on herself or her family.

Deborah met Todd, her fiance, at a temporary employment agency in 2015. She admits that their meeting was a “God thing.” He encouraged, supported, and helped her see that there was hope.

She continues to be thankful for their meeting; it was the beginning of something good and lasting. Today, they are a family of six, and she is very proud of her family.

Deborah enrolled once again with the Adult Learning Center in 2019, but she did not give up this time.

She still had challenges, but she kept studying. She had fought hard during her life, and she had overcome obstacles that most could not. On November 26, she passed her HiSET test.She said that her success came from staying strong and having support from the staff at the Adult Learning Center.

“My journey here has been the best,” she said. “These guys believed in me when I did not believe in myself.”

Her advice to others is that no matter what your issues are or how little time you have, it is possible. Deborah is currently working and hopes to continue her education to become a surgical scrub tech. For now, she is just happy that she has earned her high school equivalency diploma and is celebrating her accomplishments.

The Adult Learning Center looks forward to seeing Deborah wearing her cap and gown, walking across the stage, and accepting her HiSET diploma on May 29 at our annual commencement. She will be joined by fellow students, family, friends, and honored guests who are all celebrating this special night. She encourages anyone who needs a high school equivalency diploma to call the ALC today at 615-443-8731. It is never too late to take the first step and get started toward earning your HiSET.

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