celebrate education - brought to you by the amarillo globe-news

College education helps open doors

Wes Purser
Age: 30

Occupation: Project manager, Southwest General Contractors

Where did you receive your education?
Amarillo High School; Texas A&M University.

How has your education played a role in your life today?
My degree in construction science allowed me the opportunities to intern and work for other construction firms before coming back to work in the family business.

What was your greatest educational challenge and how did you overcome it?
The times I did have challenges with certain courses, I took the time to meet with the professor and requested opportunities for extra credit; or took advantage of study sessions.

What is the value of your education?
I have been able to use my education in the career path of my choice to provide for my family.

What would you say to someone who's undecided about continuing their education?
The short-term relief of not having to deal with homework and the challenges of finishing school is not worth the long-term challenges of not having a high school diploma.

When did you make education a priority?
Around my sophomore year in college I realized how important internship experience and good grades would be to get my foot in the door.

What made you realize the importance of education in your life?
After 9/11, the economy slowed down and the firm I worked for laid off the last two graduates they had hired, including me. When I was hired by the company that was my second choice coming out of college within two weeks of being laid off, I understood I had an opportunity that I probably would not have had without a degree in construction science.

Did you ever think about quitting? What made you keep going?
I enjoyed my time in high school as well as college, and quitting never really crossed my mind.

2009 Stories
2008 Archive
calendar of events
  • January 11
    Kickoff of 2009 Program
    Find out what Celebrate Education is all about in this special section in your Sunday paper.
  • March 7
    Regional Spelling Bee, West Texas A&M University
    The annual Regional Spelling Bee will feature the top spellers from the Amarillo area. The top five winners will receive scholarship money ranging from $500 to $5,000 and the winner will travel to Washington, D.C., in June to represent the area in the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
  • Spring and Fall
    Amarillo Reads community-wide reading projects.
    Dates and details TBA
  • April
    Amarillo Education Matching Grants Program. Exact date TBA
  • April 10
    What's a Kid to Do Special Section
  • April 12
    What's a Kid to Do at the Amarillo Civic Center
    This event will focus on activities and camps for children to participate in during the summer..
  • May 8-29
    Beating the Odds
    A series of stories published daily in the Amarillo Globe-News during the graduation season that profiles people who have inspiring stories to tell about the degree they are about to receive.
  • May 12
    Ready for the Real World program at Amarillo Civic Center
    AISD juniors get training on what's going to face them in a little more than a year.
  • May 16
    Best and Brightest Special Section
  • May 16
    Best and Brightest Event at West Texas A&M University
  • Fall
    Discover College Day
    Fifth graders from area schools visit college campuses.
  • October 1
    Great Jobs Special Section
    Focusing on well paying jobs available in the area that people may not know about.
  • November 2
    Career Education Special Section
    Focusing on businesses and others in the community helping young people gain a career vision.
  • November
    Yes You Can Event
    Designed to help people gain information about the next level of education from GED to PhD. Date TBA.
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