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

Learning to learn
Jared Knipp
Age: 27
Occupation: Software developer, First Data Corp.

Where did you receive your education?
High school diploma: Pampa High School; College: Bachelor of Science in computer science, West Texas A & M University; Master of Science in software engineering, Texas Tech University; working on Master of Business Administration at WT.

How has your education played a role in your life today?
Receiving an education has helped launch my career in information technology, given me a means to support my family, and allowed me to become productive member of society.

What was your greatest educational challenge and how did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge I have faced is "learning how to learn." In high school I was able to do well without much extra studying. During an internship, I was forced to operate beyond my natural talent and finally learned how to gain knowledge and apply it. To overcome the challenge required persistence and many hours of hard work.

What is the value of your education?
The benefits of the education I have received far outweigh any associated costs and have resulted in a respectable income which would have not been attainable without furthering my education. My education not only provides immediate financial assets but also positions me for future career advancements, higher earnings, and other opportunities.

What would you say to someone who's undecided about continuing their education?
Obtaining an education - high school, vocational, college, or less formal - is making an investment in yourself as you would make any other financial or business investment.

When did you make education a priority?
Probably not until midway through college. I realized I needed to make finishing my education a priority to focus on becoming gainfully employed. Once I had achieved this goal, I began expanding my knowledge through graduate studies to advance my career. Now I read to gain a broader insight, to find new hobbies and pursue business interests.

What made you realize the importance of education in your life?
Growing up, my mom always emphasized education and getting good grades, but I never really understood why until I was finishing college and the hard work and effort I had put in to become educated was finally starting to pay off. Since graduating, I have realized an education is very important for not only employment but also for communicating effectively, contributing to the advancement of our society, and normal activities such as buying a car or house, saving for retirement, etc.

Did you ever think of quitting? What made you keep going?
While there were times during my undergraduate studies I felt the easy way out would be to quit, I'm not sure I ever seriously entertained the idea of quitting. My parents had instilled in me that becoming educated was just a part of life.

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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