Nothing was like Amanda Anders thought it was going to be. But with the help of professors and self-motivation, she has accomplished her goals.
Anders came from a loving home, but things weren’t always so easy financially. She says that she got herself through by working and going to school.
Having lived in Lubbock most of her life, Anders graduated from Lubbock High School in 2002. Then in the following fall, she started her college career at South Plains College.
Her first semester at SPC did not go as planned. She faced a life-changing situation that later made her a better student and person.
“I did not do well my first semester,” explained Anders. “I failed out. I got too wrapped up in things outside of school.”
Anders then decided to take a four-year break from college.
“All I did in those four years was work at a call center in Lubbock,” she said. “I eventually became a supervisor there. But then I realized I needed to go back to school in order to get a better job.”
After having time to reflect on what she wanted, she saw she had a bigger purpose to fulfill and returned to SPC.
“The second time was better,” Anders added. “I was actually serious about going to school.”
Anders took a lot of journalism classes, which was where she had some of her most memorable times.
“My favorite class was with Charlie Ehrenfeld,” she said. “He is the only professor that I have come back to visit over the years. Billy Alonzo from the TV program was also great.”
SPC has always had a special place in Anders’ life. At SPC, you learn a lot, but they also make it fun, according to Anders.
“I have always loved South Plains,” she said. “I loved the smaller classes and affordability.”
She ended up graduating from SPC in 2008 with an Associate of Arts Degree, majoring in public relations. This was a big deal for her, since she was the first in her family to graduate from college.
Right after graduating from SPC, Anders enrolled at Texas Tech University. She graduated from TTU in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in Multi Disciplinary Studies, with a minor in math and science. She is still continuing her education at Texas Tech and will graduate with a master’s degree in instructional technology in December.
“I started thinking that teaching was what I wanted to do,” said Anders.
Anders taught math for eighth-graders in Littlefield for four year. During her last two years of teaching, she applied to every job opening on the SPC website.
“I just wanted back at South Plains,” said Anders. “I knew I wanted to work in higher education, but I didn’t want to go anywhere else but South Plains College.”
Coming from a background relatable to most college students, Anders said that she wanted to work where she could interact with the students and show them that they can reach their goal. However, Anders never got a call back for a job offer.
“Finally, I got offer a job in Lubbock for teaching,” Anders recalled. “But two days after, I got a call from SPC for a job in the Business Office as the student refund coordinator.”
Even though the job in Lubbock was going to pay about $12,000 more a year, she still took the offer from SPC.
“I took the pay cut because I thought I would rather be happy with what I’m doing rather than making more money,” said Anders. “It was the best decision.”
Within six months of being in that position, she was promoted to serve as the business services technician.
“South Plains College has given me a sense of belonging and purpose, because I love what I do now,” said Anders. “I love being able to help the nontraditional students, because I came from a background like most students here.”
Anders said that SPC prepared her for the new adventures she is about to embark on. During spring break, Anders traveled by herself to London, England, for eight days, and now she will be moving there.
“I am going to teach abroad,” Anders said. “I feel like I have never left here, even though I love Lubbock and Levelland.”
A company called Point to Point Education recruits teachers to teach in the United Kingdom because it is so short-staffed. Because Anders has a degree in math and science, she is able to pick wherever she wants to live.
“The public relations background from South Plains has helped me when I get in front of groups and talking to people,” said Anders.
She has decided to sign a two-year contract to teach in London, but said she hopes to return to SPC after her adventure.
“Every decision I have made has been well worth it,” said Anders.