To see the jewelry that Miette Craig makes and sells online, go to: https://www.etsy.com/shop/EarthlyIndigoDesigns.
Miette Craig hasn’t stopped going to school for the past two years, summers included.
And the 17-year-old doesn’t see any breaks for 2½ more years, summers included.
“I just want to get it done,” she says. “I don’t see the point in wasting time.”
“Driven” doesn’t do her justice.
On May 18, she graduated — with a 3.8 GPA —from Georgia Northwestern Technical College, earning an associate’s degree in business administration. On May 26, she graduated from Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School, having left the school at the beginning of her junior year to earn both high school and college credits through dual-enrollment courses at Georgia Technical.
By the time she graduated from those two schools, she was enrolled in summer semester at UTC and is now taking Principles of Accounting on campus and an online course in Conservation of Biodiversity.
“‘Driven’ is the most accurate word to describe Miette,” says her mother, Bre LaMountain, who earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UTC. “One of Miette’s most amazing traits is her ability to balance responsibilities and make the most of her time.”
Mary Beth Ondrusek, undergraduate academic advisor in the College of Business’ Decosimo Success Center, says Miette’s ambition was evident when she came in for an advisory meeting.
“It was evident that Ms. Craig has the drive and motivation to achieve her strong personal and professional goals and we look forward to supporting her in that journey,” Ondrusek says.
Miette says she “wasn’t sure what to expect” when she got to UTC but says she’s “I’ve just kept to myself and done the work.”
She plans to attend orientation to get to know more about the campus and meet some of fellow newcomers.
“There’s so much work this last month and I’ve not had much time to myself,” she says. “I’ve been stressed.”
But that’s OK.
“I feel a lot more comfortable. I don’t regret leaving high school.”
Miette — the name means “crumb” in French — was a 15-year-old sophomore at Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe when she decided she’d had enough.
“I just didn’t have a good experience,” she says. “I didn’t like it.”
Her mother says Miette’s problems at school centered on the administration not students.
“We don’t discuss it much because it is just so strange to think about and, at this point it is such a small part of Miette’s high school experience.”
But along with her unhappiness, Miette didn’t believe she needed to be in high school anymore from an academic standpoint.
“I did not feel the need to stay in high school for two more years. I just didn’t think it was necessary,” she says.
“Obviously it’s not.”
When she first entered Georgia Northwestern, her mother learned about the Move On When Ready program, which uses state money to pay for tuition and books for qualified students.
The program was “amazing,” LaMountain says, but there still were issues to overcome. Getting back and forth to school was a hurdle for the first few months because Miette was too young for a driver’s license.
“She had to spend two hours on campus before her first class started, and two hours more after her last class each day,” LaMountain says. “I was responsible for making sure she could make it to the college, which had to happen around my work schedule.”
Dealing with stress
Even beyond that, though, college was not a breeze, Miette says. The course load — she as taking from 12 to 15 hours each semester — was heavy and difficult for someone accustomed to high school. She also was waitressing part-time and working on homemade jewelry she sells on her website — https://www.etsy.com/shop/EarthlyIndigoDesigns.
High stress was a constant and there were times she thought about quitting, but her mother always reeled her back in, Miette says.
“My mom wouldn’t let me stop for any crisis,” she says.
LaMountain says her encouragement came from her own life.
“My daughters have experienced, by my side, the difference between a lifestyle with a degree and a lifestyle without.
“They both know that stress over attempting to do something positive for future stability is a lot different from the stress of not knowing how to make a house payment after a job lay-off.”
When fall semester arrives, Miette says she’ll dive in with a full course load, hoping to earn a bachelor’s in business administration in “two years and one extra semester.”
After that, she’s — yep — going for a master’s in business administration. And her mother’s still there to keep her going.
“I encourage her to continue following her plan, and I will remind her that my break from college turned into 15 difficult years before I decided to go back,” LaMountain says.