Perseverance Was Key to Getting Degree, 32-year-old Graduate Says

 

Working full time, being a full-time dad, and being a full-time student was more than a full plate for Luke Amos.

But he made it, and today, thirty-two-year-old Amos graduates from UT with a bachelor’s degree in communication studies.

Amos graduated from Central High School in Knoxville in 1999 and enrolled in Pellissippi State Community College.

After a year, he decided to leave school and work.

“I wanted to challenge myself in other ways and explore alternate business opportunities,” he said.

He got a job in cellular telephone sales, eventually moving to Charlotte, North Carolina, and being promoted to director of training.

He wanted more, “but I quickly discovered that without a bachelor’s degree, my options were limited,” he said.

In 2009, a decade after graduating from high school, Amos—divorced and with a young son—moved back to Knoxville and re-enrolled in Pellissippi State.

“I was determined to get the degree because I realized it was the only path to a better life for me and my son,” he said.

After two years, Amos transferred to UT.

He juggled classes with being a full-time dad and working full time, first doing maintenance for an apartment complex and later returning to cellular telephone sales.

Amos said it’s taken a lot of perseverance to finish college after so many years.

“It doesn’t matter when you start, just finish,” he said.

And commencement is just the beginning.

He recently got engaged. He’s planning a tour of the Pacific coast with his father. And, with his degree in hand, he’s looking forward to what the future brings for himself and his six-year-old son, Hayden.

“I want Hayden to grow up understanding that some things are worth the wait. It’s taken me longer than I expected to finish my degree, but it’s definitely been worth it,” he said.

C O N T A C T :

Charles Primm (865-974-5180, Charles.primm@tennessee.edu)

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