The Curious Edge: Education — A Gift That Keeps on Giving

KimberlyBy Kimberly Hudson

I have the privilege of speaking to high school students to motivate them to take the ACT.

I always show them a bar graph contrasting income totals for high school dropouts with those who have earned advanced degrees.

I use some props to help them grasp the impact of investing in their education.

My family just completed a college visit to the University of Tennessee with my oldest daughter.

My husband and I felt like we traveled back in time. We relived many college experiences, saw friends we hadn’t seen in 20 years and showed our girls around a town we love!

The weekend was poignant in that my husband and I realized what a huge impact our education made on our adult lives.

My husband initially earned an animal science degree but decided early into his career that he wanted to change paths.

After returning to college and receiving a Master’s degree in accounting, he pursued a career in that field that he loves and allows him to help people.

I earned a Master’s degree in Communication Disorders from UT. Fast forward 25 years and that education has been a gift of huge proportions.

My middle daughter has a severe-profound language processing disorder, also known as dyslexia. Because I have the educational and professional training to identify her struggle, I can provide her with the proper tools for success.

With my oldest daughter, we are a year behind in our college visits because of injuries she suffered in a car accident.

She sustained significant bruising of the brain, and she healed slowly because of a history of previous sports concussions.

Again, because I had worked with head injuries and understood how to identify problems, I helped her gain the tools she needed to rehabilitate the cognitive skills she had lost.

So this holiday season I am grateful to have the gift of higher education and professional experiences that have allowed me to improve the lives of my very own children.

In the same way, I try to understand on a personal level the struggles of all my students, and I’m driven to give all students tools for academic success.


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