School taught director to think outside box
Occupation: Vice president, finance and administration, Amarillo Chamber of Commerce.
Where did you receive your education?
College: Amarillo College; West Texas A&M University.
How has your education played a role in your life today?
I enrolled in Amarillo College in 1991 when I was 41 years old and had just started work as an administrative assistant at the Amarillo Chamber of Commerce. I was promoted to vice president shortly before I earned my associate degree in 1995. I continued my education at WT while working in this management position and graduated with a bachelor's degree in 1999. I suppose you can say I got my big job while earning my degree.
What was your greatest educational challenge and how did you overcome it?
I was 41 years old, recently divorced, still had two of my three children at home, and had not worked, except being a church secretary, for nearly 15 years. I lived within walking distance of Amarillo College and one day just walked down there, talked to a counselor and ended up enrolled. I was absolutely scared to death! I had not been a formal classroom for 25 years.
What is the value of your education?
When I started classes at Amarillo College my self esteem was pretty low. I really was going just for me, not for a better job, or more money, but to prove to myself that I was smart and had worth. Every time those grades came out I just got a little taller and today I am very sure of my value in society.
What made you realize the importance of education in your life?
Both of my daughters have completed degrees, one an associate degree at Amarillo College and my other daughter a bachelor's degree from Wayland Baptist University, so I believe I have set a good example and encouraged them in that direction.