Graduation Journey: Johnnie Jefferson

I am currently attending the Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, KS as part of my leadership training. The school is a yearlong, so it has been challenging to take classes at Webster and CGSC.  I have currently been in the army over 25 years. I started my army career in August 1993. I was 18 years old and ready for an adventure. Education was not something that was pushed in my home as I was growing up. But I always knew that if I wanted a better life, I needed to get a good education.  I am the youngest of six children and the first of my siblings to graduate High School. My mom only completed the third grade and my dad the sixth grade. They did the best they could, but we struggled a lot. This was a driving factor for me to get an education and do better for my children someday.  I started my academic journey in 2001 in the Army through a program at the time call eArmyU. This program gave Soldiers a computer and tuition assistance to start their college journey and I have never looked back.  Although my military career required a lot of me, and I started a family, it took me a while to finish my degree. But starting school and persevering changed my military career and my family for the better.  

My education allowed me to transition from an enlisted Soldier to an Officer. I earned my bachelor’s degree in 2008, and now my Information Tech Management master’s degree in 2019. It has been a long journey but a worthwhile one.  

My wife graduated with her bachelor’s degree in 2004 and that inspired me to dig down and follow her lead as she did this while I was deployed and with five kids at home. The kids have seen our dedication to hard work and the will to achieve my degree, regardless of the obstacles in my path.  Our kids have taken my example and have all gone to college. I have five kids. My son went to Baylor University, daughter #1went to West Point Military Academy, daughter #2 went to Newberry College, and my youngest two sons are attending University of Texas at San Antonio. So not only has college benefited me, it has inspired my kids to achieve and start a new family trend.   

I am so thankful to Webster University. It has allowed me to achieve a lifelong dream to get my master’s degree and enhance my Military career and beyond when I retire. From the academic advisors to the professors, Webster is a top-notch university, and a top school for military and those with a demanding schedule. I would recommend the university to anyone. Webster has allowed me to show my family that it is never too late to go after your dream, and with hard work and dedication, achieve your dream.