NewsLocal News


Billings Adult Education celebrates students taking alternative paths to success

Posted at 6:20 PM, May 22, 2024

BILLINGS — The Billings Adult Education program celebrated its students' graduation at the Lincoln Center Auditorium on Wednesday.

“Maybe the traditional high school path wasn’t for them or life somehow interfered with their education," said Randy Russell, the director of adult education for Billings Schools.

The nearly 300 graduates ranged in age from teenagers to those in their sixties.

"They’re all working hard for this similar goal – to change their lives (and) kind of move in a different direction," said Mike Galt, an English and social studies teacher with the adult education program.

Lauren West is one of the students who passed her HiSET exam to earn her high-school equivalency degree after becoming pregnant while in school.

"(Being pregnant) pushed me into wanting just to get my school done quicker and faster," said West.

After 40 hours of courses and giving birth, West said she is now considering her options for college with Young Families, Early Head Start (EHS) in hopes of making her daughter proud.

“It’s really worth asking for help and it can go a very long way. A lot of people are there for you and are willing to help," said West.