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

TV editor studied for assignment

Jennifer Laxson-Smith
Age: 27
Occupation: Assignments editor for TV stations KAMR and KCIT.

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

How has your education played a role in your life today?
I would be a completely different person. Going to college and getting my degree helped me learn more about myself. I know that I'm capable of anything as long as I put my mind to it.

What was your greatest educational challenge and how did you overcome it?
Coming from a small town and a single-parent home, the transition to college was a challenge. Thanks to my mother, not going or dropping out was never an option. I was lucky enough to receive scholarships, and I worked hard outside of class to get through to the end.

What is the value of your education?
Without my degree, I would be stuck in some boring job instead of enjoying the career I have now.

What would you say to someone who's undecided about continuing their education?
I'd simply ask them to think about their life five years from now. Where will you be? Investing in your education can improve your life in so many ways. It's worth the effort and time you put into it.

When did you make education a priority?
My mother never went to college. When I was young, she would tell me how she would do anything to give me the opportunity she didn't have at that time in her life.

What made you realize the importance of education in your life?
Honestly, working those part-time jobs during college helped! I knew I didn't want some minimum-wage job for the rest of my life. I knew I could do better and the only way to achieve that is higher education.

Did you ever think about quitting? What made you keep going?
There were a few times where quitting seemed like the easy choice. Fortunately, the only way to get the great jobs I wanted was to have a degree. Knowing that, I kept moving forward. Now, I'm doing something I love for a living.

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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