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

Education leads to self-sufficiency
Kathy Sweney
Age: 54
Occupation: Deputy Chief Appraiser, Potter-Randall Appraisal District.

Where did you receive your education?
Amarillo High School, Amarillo College and West Texas State University.

How has your education played a role in your life today?
My education has given me the tools to succeed in my job and in raising a family.

What was your greatest educational challenge and how did you overcome it?
Balancing a full-time, 40-hour job and attending classes. I attended night classes four nights each week, year-round for 2½ years to complete AC. Through determination and perseverance I was able to overcome the challenges I faced.

What is the value of your education?
It enabled me to be self-sufficient. My husband and I were able to provide a good life for our family and give our children opportunities to travel and experience many different interests.

What would you say to someone who is undecided about continuing their education?
Choosing to earn a college education is one of the most important decisions a person will make. It takes desire, discipline and determination to earn a degree. It is a choice that you make for your future. It will open many occupational opportunities and give an appreciation for the world we live in.

When did you make education a priority?
I decided early on during my junior high days that I wanted to attend college. My parents did not have degrees and I was always encouraged to achieve something more.

What made you realize the importance of education in your life?
I had better job opportunities with better salaries than I had worked in the past. I realized I would have better opportunities to grow within or move within a company with a college degree.

Did you ever think about quitting? What made you keep going?
Yes. Night classes, after working eight-hour days were not always easy to attend, especially by the fourth night of the week. But I had a goal set for myself, and I was determined to accomplish it. I guess you could say that having a goal and perseverance kept me going.

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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