Monday, May 8, 2023
Devyn McCormick, 25, right, earned his General Equivalency Degree in only a few days at Chippewa Valley Technical College. He was so close to earning his high school diploma from Chippewa Falls Senior High School in 2016 but fell short. Now, with his GED in hand, he will apply to the U.S. Navy.
Devyn McCormick, donned in a black robe and graduation cap, filed into an auditorium at Chippewa Valley Technical College recently and immediately turned to scan the crowd for his wife and 6-month-old daughter.
Ozzy McCormick cooed and giggled at her daddy as he smiled from ear to ear.
A year ago, Devyn McCormick wouldn’t have imagined himself in this position – ready to walk across the stage and accept his General Equivalency Degree (GED). He tried a couple of times since leaving high school to get his GED, but he never succeeded until now.
The third time must be a charm, he joked.
McCormick enrolled in the Fast Track GED program in April – an opportunity for adults to earn their high school credentials in two weeks or less. He admits his wife, Jadzia McCormick, and his daughter were motivating factors.
McCormick, now 25, held back tears as he described in short detail his traumatic childhood.
He went to many different schools growing up. He was so close to graduating from Chippewa Falls High School when he was 17, but his parents left the area, and he had to find somewhere to live.
He was alone and had to fend for himself. School took a backseat, and his GED studies followed suit.
“I never actually went to class for my GED more than a day or two before because something always happened,” he said. “I’d be staying with a friend or family member and they would kick me out. I had my own troubles. I was homeless for a couple years. I was more worried about drinking and partying with friends.”
Jadzia McCormick was just out of a long-term relationship when she met Devyn. A few months later, they were engaged and then married the next year. In 2021, Jadzia suffered a miscarriage. The trauma fueled their alcohol addictions. But as soon as Jadzia was pregnant again, they both quit drinking and have been sober for a year.
“As soon as we had a positive pregnancy test, we just stopped everything,” Jadzia said.
“Having a kid changes everything, seriously,” Devyn said. “It’s the best feeling ever.”
Devyn said his goal is to enter the U.S. Navy because he has always wanted to be in the military, but until now, he wasn’t in a position to do it. He knows it will take him away from his family, but he wants to be a role model for Ozzy, he said.
“I’m just proud to be on this track,” he said. “I’m doing my thing for my family, and it’s just cool.”
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