College Opened My Mind to the Possibilities

 By Gloria Wilkinson

“Get your education. That is something they cannot take from you.”

My mother and father instilled those words in all eleven of their children.  At the time, the “they” referred to white people.  My parents were raised during the pre-civil rights era and understood that education was the pathway to achieving their goals.  In the African American community, education was, and still is, considered the key to success.

College opened a whole new world for me.  It helped me to meet people from all over the United States, the Islands and Africa.  I developed relationships with people that have become life-long friends.  Above all, it opened my mind to the possibilities and opportunities in life.

Research shows that educated people have improved self-understanding, better self-esteem, and stronger social skills (UWEP, The Value of Higher Education for Women in Utah, p. 2-3).  All of these have benefitted my life and led to greater opportunity to contribute to our community.

It has taken me 22 years to complete my Masters degree, and I still enjoy opening a book and learning new things and ideas.  There are so many ways of obtaining an education, but I encourage you to pursue that degree.  It will be one of the best things you will do for yourself and your family.


Gloria T. Wilkinson is the Vice President of Community Relations for Zions Bank.