Navy chief removed obstacles in path
Occupation: Quality assurance specialist and Navy Reserve Senior Chief
Where did you receive your education?
GED from the University of New Mexico; bachelor's and master's degrees from University of Phoenix; many Navy schools.
How has your education played a role in your life today?
Every single thing I do is affected by the education I received. From the tasks I perform at work, to paying bills, leading sailors, helping my kids with their homework, teaching Boy/Girl Scouts about Nuclear Science - everything.
What was your greatest educational challenge and how did you overcome it?
Although some people think that getting a GED means you are lazy or aren't smart, that's simply not true. I wanted to prove people wrong, so while I was on active duty in the Navy I started taking college classes, one at a time. It took me 15 years and seven or eight colleges to finish my bachelor's degree. I proved them wrong.
What is the value of your education?
Never having to say, "I wish I could do that," because you know that you can do anything as long as you have the ability to learn how.
What would you say to someone who's undecided about continuing their education?
Go to class, any kind of class. It doesn't matter if it's a continuing education class, a fun class, or a class that leads to a degree.
When did you make education a priority?
... When I realized that if I wanted to be someone I was going to have to overcome the obstacles I put in my own path. Now, as the mother of a 10th-grader and a first-grader, I don't want them to have to work as hard as I did. I think they learned how much I value my education by watching me struggle to get it completed.
What made you realize the importance of education in your life?
I saw in the Navy that the people who were in charge, had the authority, and got to make the decisions were the people who had an education. Without knowledge people are destined to follow.
Did you ever think about quitting? What made you keep going?
Holy cow! I probably thought about quitting every single day, especially when my friends were out having fun or late at night when they were already in bed sleeping. Getting an education is hard work. It takes dedication. It takes initiative.