Whether you’re driven to fulfill a promise to yourself or set an example for others; advance your career or just broaden your horizons, going back to school requires courage, dedication and sacrifice.
City Savvy issued a call for sources, seeking city employees who recently graduated from a college degree program.
Employees from Houston Public Works, Houston Public Library, Human Resources, Houston Health Department and Houston Emergency Center earned degrees from both local and online universities and colleges, majoring in business, arts, history, leadership and interdisciplinary studies.
Read more about their educational journey and remember to give these folks a pat on the back if you see them around the city.
If you didn’t see our initial Call for Sources and missed your chance to be included in this article, send us your info, and we will update the online article.
Marilyn J. Williams, Sr. Staff Analyst (part time), Houston Public Works
Retired March 1, 2018 after 38 years of service.
Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies, University of Houston Downtown
“I decided to fulfill my lifelong dream and to finish college. After 42 years since graduating from high school, I finished. I put my daughter through Princeton University and medical school. She reminded me of a promised I made to her: when she completed medical school, I would go back to college.
She was my biggest supporter,” Williams said.
“Now that I am at retirement, I hope to utilize my degree to help others to further their education. I hope be an example that it doesn’t matter how old you are, you can go back and complete your degree.”
Keeysha Holmes, Administrative Assistant, Human Resources Department
Bachelor of Business Administration in General Business and Entrepreneurship, Lamar University
“I decided to go back to school to obtain my bachelor’s degree because I wanted to be an excellent role model for my daughter, to obtain security in a demanding position with a higher salary and to embellish in the self-gratification associated with the success,” Holmes said.
“In today’s society, there are many working adults pursuing their degrees while raising a family and working full time. Having a degree in today’s society impacts not only your professional life but your social life as well. I believe that if I invest in me now it will pay off in the future.”
Mianna Eleby, Recreation Assistant, Houston Parks and Recreation Department
Associates of Arts Degree, Lone Star College
“I will be continuing my education studying HR Management and will be attending University of Houston in the fall. I wanted to stay in school to continue working on myself. I still want to grow and experience more,” Eleby said.
“It does become stressful at times, but I think of how it is molding me for the future. Of course, I hope it helps me in the future with my goals and how I want to live the rest of my life, but I hope I can encourage my younger siblings and maybe future children to continue with their education as well.”
Tonia White, Administrative Coordinator, Houston Health Department Administrative Coordinator
Bachelor of Business Administration in Management, Texas Southern University
“I decided to go back to school because I knew it would open up many opportunities for me, here at the City of Houston,” White said. “For years, I started and quit. However, three years ago I made up my mind that I was going to go back and nothing would stop me.
“It wasn’t easy going to school full time, working full time and having a family life. Some days, I felt so overwhelmed and stressed.
My daughter and I were talking one day and she said, “Mom, I am so proud of you, because you work hard and you’re excelling in school.”
She said that because of me, she was going to do the same thing; this made me proud. I’m hoping that not just my daughter is influenced to go back to school, but other young adults as well.”
Jose-Luis Quintero, Sr. Customer Service Clerk, Houston Public Library
Bachelor of Arts in History, University of Houston-Downtown
“I decided to go back to school because it was a debt on myself and I wanted to prove wrong a lot of people that didn't believe in me,” Quintero said. “Finishing my degree is going to help to continue my career in the library and I plan to pursue a master’s degree in library science.”
Larnetta Lacy, Training Coordinator, Houston Emergency Center
Master of Business Administration in Leadership, University of Houston-Downtown
Sharon Brown-Pipkin, Senior 911 PSAP Supervisor,
Houston Emergency Center, Fire/EMS division
Bachelor of Science degree in Leadership, Belhaven University, and currently pursuing a graduate degree
Alicia Brandley, Customer Service Representative III, Houston Public Works
Bachelor of Science in Business, University of Phoenix
Carolyn Terry, Administrative Specialist,
Houston Health Department
Bachelor of Science in Human Services, Springfield College, class of 2018