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

Education sculpts solid foundation
Zack Lujan
Age: 24
Occupation: President of the Amarillo Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Where did you receive your education?
River Road High School; College: BBA from West Texas A & M University; working on MBA at WT. Also, Executive Education Program at University of Chicago Graduate School of Business.

How has your education played a role in your life today?
High school was great for laying a foundation to grow on. My bachelor's studies helped to formulate ideas and grow confidence. My MBA is helping me establish myself. The executive program has helped me to experience other people's ideas and thought processes.

What was your greatest educational challenge and how did you overcome it?
My primary challenge was taking what was perceived to be useless information and becoming mentally able to apply the materials to real life situations. The most difficult aspect was to learn how a field of study that had no apparent use in what I wanted to do could enable me to evolve into a more capable person.

What is the value of your education?
I think that my education is priceless, and maybe that is why I have paid so much for it. But I know that I will recover everything I have spent and more. What makes it priceless is that the more I learn, the more I find to learn.

What would you say to someone who is undecided about continuing their education?
What is it going to hurt to go ahead and get a diploma or a degree? While you are completing the task, you are going to learn a lot about yourself and the world around you.

When did you make education a priority?
Education became a priority about my sophomore year in college. That was when I quit taking it for granted. I thought about quitting and "proving myself to the world," but after some consideration I realized proving yourself is necessary no matter what and getting my education part of that process.

What made you realize the importance of education in your life?
Education was something that our mother instilled in us. It was never, "Are you going to college?" It was, "When you go to college you need to ..."

Did you ever think about quitting? What made you keep going?
My competitive nature would not let me quit. When I considered quitting I began to view myself differently, that is, in a negative way. So I kept going and have seen many successes since.

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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