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

Learning gives limitless opportunities
Jennifer Wilkerson
Age: 37
Occupation: Secondary administrator, Arbor Christian Academy

Where did you receive your education?
High School: Borger High School; College: West Texas A & M University, bachelor's degree in education, master's degree in education counseling and working on master's degree in education administration.

How has your education played a role in your life today?
Funding my education. There wasn't extra money in our family's budget to cover college expenses. I overcame through hard work. My family sacrificed and I sacrificed, and we worked extra to make college happen. I got a job and I worked harder in school to get scholarships.

What was your greatest educational challenge and how did you overcome it?
My greatest educational challenge came during Ph.D. training, when I first stepped into the research laboratory and tried to hold a pipette and use other unfamiliar laboratory equipment. I broke a big piece of laboratory equipment in the first month. I overcame this by working even harder.

What is the value of your education?
There is no value that you can put on education; it is priceless because it is immeasurable. You can count the number of credit hours, the number of degrees and the number of accomplishments, but you can't count the value education puts on your life. The beauty of its value is that it can't be lost or taken away; once you attain it, it is yours to keep.

What would you say to someone who's undecided about continuing their education?
You are limiting your opportunities. If you decide not to further your education, you close doors for yourself. The more education you have, the more opportunities you have.

When did you make education a priority?
I have always made education a priority. I knew that I wanted to be a teacher in fifth grade and from that time I began to view education and learning from a different perspective. I always want to know how much more I can learn.

What made you realize the importance of education in your life?
I grew up in difficult circumstances, and I recognized by working hard in school and striving to achieve I could overcome those circumstances and create a better life for my family and me.

Did you ever think of quitting? What made you keep going?
I did think about quitting, but those were fleeting thoughts because my desire to achieve great things was greater than a simple temptation to quit. My life has been made better by education, and I think that I have been able to make others' lives better through education as well. The sacrifices were certainly worth the gain.

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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