Mother, Daughter Study Together at Southeastern Tech
August 04, 2014 - Shirley and Mirran Brown, as mother and daughter, share a number of things. They share a house in Wheeler County. They have worked for the same company. And these days, they share a classroom.
In 2013, Shirley, 51, was working for just above minimum wage and feeling unfulfilled. A conversation with Mirran, 25, resulted in some unconventional advice.
“I said, ‘Go ahead, quit, it’s already a headache, it’s aggravating you. You want to come to school, and we’ll make it possible,’” said Mirran.
Mirran had been in a similar situation. After working seasonal jobs with a local company, she wanted more reliability in her employment, so in 2012, she went back to school.
“I thought, ‘You know what? I’m going to get an education so I can get a job where I don’t have to worry about my job security, and I can have a guaranteed, good paycheck.’ So I applied to STC,” said Mirran.
Southeastern Technical College’s Business Administrative Technology (BAT) degree program was where Mirran landed, and by 2013, she was well into her coursework, so she recommended the school to her mother. Shirley was open to it, but needed a program to enter. Everything around them seemed to point in one direction.
Living in Wheeler County and commuting to Vidalia each day, they had to deal with plenty of car issues on their own. Neighbors, friends and family were full of stories of being swindled by unscrupulous mechanics. And both women had a small base of automotive knowledge from Mirran’s grandfather and Shirley’s father, Neal Powell, who had to learn to fix equipment as a farmer and logger.
So, Shirley enrolled in STC’s automotive program in fall 2013. At the end of that year, Shirley was through a good portion of her core classes and Mirran had finished the BAT program. Degree in hand, she wanted to work, but she wanted to strengthen her resume as well. Before long, Mirran had enrolled in the automotive program and registered for the same classes as her mother.
“We’re doing this so that when we get out of here, we’ll get a decent job and be able to repair our own vehicles,” said Shirley.
“Everything that we’re learning, I’m actually using in everyday maintenance of my own vehicle,” added Mirran.
It didn’t take long for both women to make their mark. They started program coursework in January and made STC’s spring semester President’s List, a special recognition for students who maintain at least a 3.75 GPA for the semester.
“Both are extremely great students,” said Travis Williams, program director for STC Automotive Technology. “They have great work ethics, pay close attention to detail, and have great study habits. They really feed well off of one another and have a great working relationship.”
And while making these high grades, Mirran and Shirley have been employed. Shirley has been working with Trane since April, and Mirran is using skills from her last program to help STC itself through their work-study program.
“Thank God for work-study because it allows me to work around my school hours, and it allows me to use what I learned with my BAT,” said Mirran. “So, I’ve got my BAT and I’m using it in work-study and then I’m learning automotive so I can use it on my vehicle. I’m real happy about that.”
Both have reason to be happy. With their grades, Mirran and Shirley will soon share one more thing: a 2015 graduation date.
For more information on opportunities in the automotive field, visit www.southeasterntech.edu or call 912-538-3100 or 478-289-2200.