Profile: Charlotte Owens
Senior English major Charlotte Owens never thought she would be able to study abroad in Spain. Then again, she never thought she would attend a four-year institution, either.
The importance of education was something imparted to the Jones County native and her five brothers from an early age. Owens' parents never had the chance to graduate from high school and always wanted their children to take advantage of the opportunities they were not afforded.
"My parents were very successful, but they didn't look at themselves as being as successful as they were," Owens said. "They saw a need for education, and it was very important to them that we at least finished high school. They instilled in us the desire to have the education they didn't have."
Owens did reach that goal, and served in the military for seven years upon high school graduation. She has since split her time between California and Mississippi, working in the Department of Corrections in Mississippi and in administrative positions for the Highway Patrol in Southern California.
However, Owens returned to Mississippi in 2008 to be closer to her parents and give her mother one last gift, a gift that they would both hold dear.
"I wanted her to at least see one of us graduate from college, and I was so happy to give her that," Owens said.
After graduating from Jones County Junior College in 2011, Owens decided to further pursue her college education at Mississippi State. She and her five children moved to Starkville later that year.
Owens now plans to instill the drive and passion for learning her parents impressed upon her in children through teaching elementary school upon her expected graduation in May 2013.
"I hate seeing children lose interest in learning," Owens said. "The children are the future, and I think that's what my parents saw, and why they were so insistent upon us getting an education. They saw what not having an education did for their lives."
Throughout her life, Owens has always taken advantage of every opportunity available to her and treats each experience as an adventure, including her recent study abroad experience at the University of Alcalá in Spain. She encourages others to do the same.
"I went up the rough side of the mountain," Owens said with a laugh. "The other way wouldn't have been as difficult to climb. With me, right now, it's about giving back, not just to my children but to anyone who really wants to make it. You don't have to do it the hard way.
I never thought I'd have the opportunity to go to Spain. But if someone wants to travel and do these things, they can."Writer: Morgan Tubbs | Photo: Beth Wynn
Next week … George Davis !