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

Education brings personal freedom
Wade Alan Byrd
Age: 34
Occupation: Lawyer

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.

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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