Posted Mon. 20, Jun, 2011
Lighting the Fire
“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”
- W. B. Yeats
As my children have grown, I have tried to impress on them that, to be able to provide for their families in the future, they have to have an education. About four years ago, my oldest son asked me, “Dad, did you finish college?” At that moment, I realized that in order to require them to go to college, I needed to set the right example.
I enrolled in the Bethel Success program not knowing how it would turn out. That first night of class, I wasn’t even sure it was going to work. But our facilitator encouraged us to talk to members of the cohort group inside and outside of class, and I found that we were all just as uncertain of the journey we were on. After the first five weeks, though, my whole attitude changed. I saw that the program was set up in a way that allowed me to work full-time and study – and still find time to spend with my family.
Now, four years later, I have finished my MBA through Bethel University. Amazingly, what started out as an effort to provide the proper example for my children has now turned into an addiction for learning and expanding my own understanding. The professors, facilitators, and the structure of the program have allowed me to achieve this transformation.
Now my four children ask me where they should go to college instead of if they have to go to college. Without Bethel University, this would never have been possible.
I have been promoted to a management position at the Caterpillar plant in Obion, and, this too, is a direct result of Bethel. Even if I achieve nothing else in my life, being able to educate and influence my children to take the actions necessary for successful and fulfilling lives for themselves has made this “educational journey” worthwhile.