Education brings personal freedom
Wade Alan Byrd
Where did you receive your education?
Amarillo High School; West Texas A & M University; and Texas Tech School of Law.
How has your education played a role in your life today?
Besides the degrees I received, my education taught me if you work hard for something you get rewards. The best rewards come from hard work and determination.
What was your greatest educational challenge and how did you overcome it?
The bar exam was the greatest education challenge. I studied for three months before the test. I had taken a job with Mayfield, Crutcher & Sharpee in Amarillo immediately out of law school. I made a deal with the firm that I worked half a day and prepared for the bar exam the other half of the day during the 3-month period. I later found out the half a day of work was almost a release and allowed me to clear and refresh my mind. The time I spent studying was better and more efficient than if I would have been studying all day.
What is the value of your education?
Priceless. Without it I could not be a lawyer, which I love doing almost everyday.
What would you say to someone who is undecided about continuing their education?
I would tell them they better keep going until they decide. I would tell them it doesn't matter what degree they obtain or if they ever use it. There are lessons you learn participating in the education system that you need and will help you excel not only in the workforce, but life, too. Also, most employers love the piece of paper you receive.
When did you make education a priority?
I was 22 when my daughter Kailey was born. When I was holding her in the hospital, I made a promise to her that I would finish my education. I had quit college and was working for my grandparents on their farm and ranch operation in Tulia. I didn't want to preach to her later on in life that she would need an education without me having mine. I finished up at West Texas A & M going to night school and working during the day.
What made you realize the importance of education in your life?
The freedom that came with having an education allowed me to do just about anything I want from being a banker to a lawyer. With my degree in finance, I could be a banker or stock broker. With my law degree, I could be a lawyer or so many other things. My education gives me so much freedom to do whatever I want, whenever I want. Education gives you power and makes you attractive to the business world. Outside of business, education brings you respect.
Did you ever think about quitting? What made you keep going?
I started back to school right after the birth of my daughter and I wanted to show her that l thought education was important. Not only to want her to get one for herself, but for me, too.