College trained spokesman to think
Occupation: Media relations representative, Xcel Energy
Where did you receive your education?
The University of Texas.
What is the value of your education?
I couldn't have qualified for my current job without a college degree. And without the college experience, it would have been harder to adjust in a work environment where employees have a wide range of cultural experiences. College trains you to understand other people, investigate their beliefs and opinions, and, if it feels right, adopt new ways of thinking.
What would you say to someone who's undecided about continuing their education?
Keep going even if it's not clear where it will take you. Knowledge is an organic thing. Something good will sprout from it.
When did you make education a priority?
When you're blessed to be born into a family that values education, and then doubly blessed to be raised in a place such as Wellington where just about everyone's watching out for you, these priorities are set for you. I never had to think about it.
What made you realize the importance of education in your life?
I realize its importance every time I have to do something that scares me. For example, my high school speech teacher, Mrs. McAlister, signed me up for informative speaking competitions, and I was too chicken to tell her no. I now make my living through informative speaking, and every time I talk to a reporter or address a civic group, I see Mrs. McAlister taking notes (and yes, I'm still speaking too fast).
Did you ever think about quitting? What made you keep going?
During the spring semester of my sophomore year in college I had the urge to run off and live as a hermit in the desert. I didn't quit because I didn't want to let anyone down. Too many people had sacrificed too much for me to throw it away.