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Mother, daughter bound for college

Josetta Meyers is going to college.

This fall she’ll enroll as a freshman at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, three hours away from her Chocowinity home.

Josetta Meyers will graduate from Southside High School next week, while her mother, Sarah Warren, recently earned her GED. Both plan to attend college. (Contributed Photo/Sarah Warren)

What makes Meyers unique among other college-bound graduates is that she’s not the only member of her family getting a high-school degree and planning to go to college this year: so is her mother.

According to Meyers, it was her mother, Sarah Warren, who constantly encouraged her and her three sisters to achieve — in school, in athletics, in life.

“I wasn’t allowed to have a B. She would say, ‘You can do better,’” said Meyers of her mother’s expectations for the girls.

“I stayed hard on them. They think sometimes I’m being mean, but I push them — try to keep them motivated. Keep them active, athletic,” explained Warren. “I tell them to want better in life. I want them to have better than I did.”

Warren said she had higher expectations for her daughters than those she’d set for herself. Years ago, she dropped out of Chocowinity High School in the middle of her senior year. Since, she’s raised her girls and worked a factory job.

But when Warren recently learned hers would be one of the 20-plus jobs laid off June 1 by Caron International (formerly a division of National Spinning), she said she decided to take the advice she’d been giving her girls their entire lives.

“I was kind of hurting when I found out there were going to be layoffs,” said Warren of the job she’d held for nearly 17 years. “When I first heard, I was kind of devastated, but I decided to go on to do what I should do. I needed to do what I should have done a long time ago.”

According to Warren, what she needed to do was get her GED.

Already the driving force behind Meyers’ academic success, in the process of getting her GED, Warren became her inspiration, too, said Meyers.

“She inspires me to be the person I am today,” said Meyers. “She had dropped out of school, she got laid off. Then she asked for my help to get her GED. Now, she’s taking classes at Beaufort County Community College at night.”

It was a moment of joy when Warren received her GED via the local post office, she said.

“I waited to open it until I got in the car, and when I opened it and saw the diploma, I started jumping up and down. I did accomplish something. I went ahead and did what I said I was going to do. It was a great feeling,” Warren laughed.

Warren’s lifelong advice has paid off: Meyers plans to study nursing at N.C. A&T. Her mother thinks she might do the same here at home, at BCCC.

“I tell them as long as you got a strong mind in life, you can do whatever you want. Just stay focused,” said Warren. “You know what’s right. You do what’s right.”