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

Goal set, exceeded

Cristal Robinson
Age: 34
Occupation: Attorney

Where did you receive your education?
West Texas A&M University; Thomas M. Cooley Law School, Lansing, Mich.

How has your education played a role in your life today?
It taught me how to make a goal, stick with it and complete the goal by diligently working on each task at hand. I am very busy growing a practice along with volunteering at many organizations, so time management is very important.

What was your greatest educational challenge and how did you overcome it?
After moving from military school to Tascosa High School, I received my first deficiency in an algebra course. My parents paid for me to attend Sylvan Learning Center, and I never received one again. The worst part was not being able to go on a drill meet, because of "no-pass-no-play." I learned that even if you know the information, the professor may grade differently.

What is the value of your education?
It allows me to take the time to help others. If I did not have the education, I would not be able to take the time to volunteer.

What would you say to someone who's undecided about continuing their education?
Anyone can complete college with good grades if they set the goal to attend, complete every task - like turning in good homework assignments - and understanding that most people do not make all A's and B's. There are many college professors that made a C in the class they teach, and there are many executives that did poorly in a business course, but they kept working at their goal of obtaining a college degree.

When did you make education a priority?
My mother told me my whole life I would attend college. I attended Amarillo College while in high school and I paid for my education for several years, but soon stopped attending when my real estate company became prosperous. In 2003, I decided to complete my goal of education and started back to school full time.

What made you realize the importance of education in your life?
Before my sixth-grade year, I wanted to play the saxophone, but my mother said we did not have the money. I wrote out a budget and a plan to save the $55 needed each month for me to play. This prompted me to understand that my mother worked four jobs for survival. Soon I realized that the more education you hold, the more money you are able to make.

Did you ever think about quitting? What made you keep going?
I never thought about quitting even though I stopped my formal education in 1999. Between 1999 and 2003, I completed other designations and took tests to get other licenses, along with working 70 to 80 hours a week running a real estate company. I knew someday I would return to formal education, but never dreamed that I would get three degrees from 2003 to 2009.

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