first_img TAGS  Mother of 7 earns high school diploma Local News Twitter Twitter Pinterest By Digital AIM Web Support – February 24, 2021 WhatsAppcenter_img Facebook Facebook Pinterest WhatsApp Previous articleCity may want TxDOT help for GrantNext articleMacee Mack Digital AIM Web Support Laci Harrington poses with her high school diploma earned through Walmart’s employee program Live Better U. A boy from Big Spring gave his mother the gift of motivation to earn a high school diploma after she struggled for more than a decade to return to school. Laci Harrington is a 30-year-old mother of seven children with another child on the way this summer. She dropped out of high school at the age of 15, after her stepfather died, in order to prioritize having a job to help her family make ends meet. Ten years ago, her first son was born with a rare condition that required a multiple-organ transplantation and extended hospital stays. Harrington said much of her child’s experience with school was within the walls of a hospital, which did not afford him the same learning environment and opportunities as other children. “When he went into public school it was really hard for him because other kids were much further along than he was,” Harrington said. She said watching her eldest son push past those challenges with an upbeat attitude helped her overcome her own fears linked with going back to school. Harrington said she made several attempts to earn a high school diploma, but resources were unavailable to help her reach her goal until recently. She is an optician at the Walmart Vision Center in Big Spring and stumbled upon a program, Live Better U, offered by the company that paves the way for workers to further their educational attainment. “I thought it would be hard, but they gave me all the tools I needed to succeed,” she said. “They took something scary, going back to school in my late twenties, and made it so simple.” Within two days, Harrington was enrolled in the program at no cost and was coached by an advisor to help her pace the workload. Harrington focused on completing assignments during her lunch breaks at work and her husband helped her create space to take exams at home. Study groups with her oldest son where she would read her essays aloud for feedback became a chance for one-on-one bonding. “This was a step we took together,” Harrington said. She graduated from the program after just six months and was taken aback by her son’s enthusiasm and pride for her accomplishment. “I was able to do something for me that also helps my family,” Harrington said. “All moms get so caught up in worrying about the people around them and their children, but if someone has the option to go back to school like I did I think they should take it. Just getting my high school diploma opened up options for my career so I can move up and advance in my career if that’s what I choose to do.” Harrington said she is interested in continuing with Walmart’s educational offerings to explore different avenues within optometry. She said many believe that an optician at Walmart just fixes glasses, but she said the vision center is often a witness to special moments like when a child sees their mother’s face for the first time. “One of the best things about my job is when I have a one-year-old child who has never really been able to see and they put those glasses on for the first time and I get to witness them seeing the world as it really is,” she said. “I adore my job and I work for a great company.”last_img

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