Thanks to these partners for their continued involvement in our community and education.
McCartt always pursued a degree
Occupation: Mayor of Amarillo, senior director of community relations at Texas Tech School of Medicine.
Where did you receive your education?
Amarillo High School; University of Texas at Arlington; Southern Methodist University.
How has your education played a role in your life today?
I have been able to achieve a level of serving my community that I never dreamed possible. If I had not completed my education, I never would have had the opportunities afforded to me over the last several years.
What was your greatest educational challenge and how did you overcome it?
When I was in my 30s, I went back to school to become a nurse. I found out how very difficult and time consuming becoming a nurse actually is. I had a new baby at the time, so I couldn't devote the time to the clinical aspect that was required, so I had to give up this new career. I was finally hired as a patient advocate in a hospital - after much pleading with the administrator. Finally, my dream was coming true. I later went on to become a hospital administrator, and now I work at Texas Tech School of Medicine. All of this, because I never gave up.
What is the value of your education?
For me, it is the realization of the dreams I had set out for myself. My life is so full of meeting exceptional people in all walks of life, which never would have been possible if I had not set goals for myself that would lead to other opportunities - one after the other.
What would you say to someone who's undecided about continuing their education?
I have seen firsthand, in my own family, how very difficult it can be for young people who decide that an education is not for them. I do believe, however, that going to college may not be for everyone. Having some sort of vocation can also lead to self-fulfillment and development of a career that is critical to give a person self-esteem later in life and bring success to their own family in years to come.
When did you make education a priority?
When I was growing up, there really never was a question in my mind about getting a college degree.
What made you realize the importance of education in your life?
To begin with, I was able to get a teaching job right out of college, which certainly helped pay the bills. Having an income is certainly a big incentive for educational attainment, but also the feeling of independence and self-worth is critical.
Did you ever think about quitting? What made you keep going?
Of course there are days during those college years that are tough, when you have to study for an exam, write two term papers and of course have a little fun along the way. However, I never thought about quitting or giving up. I knew that I would just have to work harder.
Copyright 2008 Amarillo Globe-News :: Amarillo.com