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

Education like learning how to fish
Holly Leigh Jeffreys
Age: 33
Occupation: Family nurse practitioner

Where did you receive your education?
West Texas Christian School, now called San Jacinto Christian School; Bachelor of Science in nursing, West Texas A & M University; master's degree in nursing, WT; completing doctorate of nursing practice through the University of Texas.

How has your education played a role in your life today?
My education has been the foundation on which to build a successful career and fulfill a lifelong passion. Without this strong foundation, I would not have the necessary tools to meet the needs of the patients I see on a daily basis.

What was your greatest educational challenge and how did you overcome it?
Learning to balance my role as a wife, mother of four, career professional and student. There have been many nights without sleep and many financial challenges to overcome, but prayer and endurance have pulled me through.

What is the value of your education?
Priceless. Education is the key that opens doors.

What would you say to someone who's undecided about continuing their education?
Be strong, continue and never take for granted the opportunity to obtain an education. No doubt there will be challenges, but strive for a positive attitude and a determined spirit, and keep looking up.

When did you make education a priority?
My father, a minister in Amarillo, and my grandfather, a minister and farmer, completed higher education to add value to their profession and calling. The women in my family are far beyond my years in wisdom, but I was fortunate enough to be the first female in the family to follow in my father's and grandfather's footsteps and pursue my dreams in higher education.

What made you realize the importance of education in your life?
As a provider of health care, I am able to combine educational knowledge and professional experience to mange the health and well-being of individuals, families and even communities. Without an education, none of this would be remotely possible.

Did you ever think of quitting? What made you keep going?
I won't even allow the thought of quitting to cross my mind. I've always been this way - my mother calls it stubborn, but I call it determined. I see that same determination in the eyes of my children and that's all the inspiration I need to keep me going. My favorite saying reads, "Give a man a fish and he eats for today, but teach a man to fish and eats for a lifetime."

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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