celebrate education - brought to you by the amarillo globe-news
Education all about perseverance
Ben Brookes

Age: 32

Occupation: Project manager, Western Builders

Where did you receive your education?

Tascosa High School; College: civil engineering degree, Texas A&M University

How has your education played a role in your life today?

My background in civil engineering really prepared me for the challenges of managing construction projects. Not a day goes by that I don't draw from that experience to perform my job. Social interaction is a secondary education that we learn as well.

What was your greatest educational challenge and how did you overcome it?

Getting past resting on my laurels was a real challenge. It was very easy to believe that being a good student in high school was automatically going to make me successful in college. I had to learn how to study. After learning better study habits and working in study groups, I enjoyed more success.

What is the value of your education?

The sense of accomplishment. I am extremely proud that I overcame the challenges and graduated. Also, I now work for a great company.

What would you say to someone who's undecided about continuing their education?

I would encourage them to spend plenty of time thinking about it before taking action. College isn't for everyone, and there are plenty of opportunities for success without college. However, college is a challenge and everyone hits bumps in the road. Don't give up after a bump.

When did you make education a priority?

Early in my life. I had good teachers that I enjoyed learning from. I was very inquisitive about knowing more about things and the world.

What made you realize the importance of education in your life?

As I got older, the excitement and thirst for knowledge met up with a knowledge of how the world works. In high school, I started to realize I was going to have to start thinking about making my own way.

Did you ever think about quitting? What made you keep going?

I had a class that I wasn't doing very well in, and I spoke to the professor about it. He encouraged me to stick it out and I ended up making a "B."

He taught me one of the most important lessons I ever learned. Success in that class was defined as perseverance. College is all about perseverance and growth from your first day as a freshman to your last as a senior.

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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