Joe Wyatt
Published December 5, 2016

On the same day that America Adame learned she was pregnant for a second time, her children’s father was sentenced to 45 years in prison.

America   2In the face of this adversity and more – financial shortfalls, the new baby and a toddler, daycare complications, mental and physical exhaustion – America has ever since been devoted to completing her education at Amarillo College.

Not only is America one of about 800 AC students eligible to participate in Commencement on Friday, Dec. 16 at the Amarillo Civic Center, the 25-year-old single mother of two has been selected to serve as the event’s student speaker.

The traditional graduation ceremony will begin at 7 p.m. and include AC students who completed degree or certificate requirements over the summer or this fall.

America will be there to collect her well-earned associate degree in speech communications and to share from the podium her inspirational story of hardship, self-doubt, perseverance and academic triumph.

“It’s such an honor,” said the hard-working mom. “I can’t tell you how many times I thought about quitting school. But every time I considered it, I stopped and thought about how education is the key.

“If I quit, what’s that going to show my girls who will be looking up to me for their examples in life?”

So, rather than back off, America went all in. Taking advantage of AC’s new 8-week course model, she completed 21 credit hours over the summer to complete her degree requirements.

Despite having to read to her 3-year-old while taking online tests, or rushing her infant daughter to the emergency room in the middle of a school night, America’s commitment to complete her associate degree paid off. She transferred her credits to West Texas A&M University this fall and is pursuing a degree in speech communications with an emphasis on Spanish – more challenges, more exhaustion.

“It’s not just me,” America said. “There are many college students who face struggles on a daily basis. They need courage to set their problems aside and stay focused on school. I cannot tell anyone that it’s easy, but I can tell them it is something that if I can do it, they can too.”