An Education: A Passport to Your Journey


An education is a passport: It is not the reason to take a journey. It is not a ticket. It is not a destination. It is a tool to help you get where you want to be. At the same time, as a passport can be used for ID even when you’re not traveling, an education has a twofold effect: As you learn, you simultaneously expand your opportunities to learn. I found this out at a very young age.


I was born and raised in Puerto Rico in a family with a lot of relatives in traditional professions – medicine, law, academics, teaching – and from a young age I was encouraged to read. In a short time, I became a voracious, indiscriminate reader of anything and everything that was in front of me, in English or in Spanish. Be it National Geographic, Bohemia (definitely not a magazine for young readers), books, The World Book Encyclopedia, newspapers, or utility bills. I was expected to do well in school and to obtain a college degree. I also observed that in my large extended family, some had not followed the traditional professions, and they also had attained comfortably middle-class, stable, livelihoods.


When it was time to choose a college major, it was time to ask myself: What were the traits that my successful relatives shared in their educational backgrounds? The first thing was, they all had learned something useful for which there was a demand. The pre-baby boom generation needed not only teachers and professors, doctors, and engineers, but also workers who knew the technology of the day. While they entered fields and occupations that interested them, they kept sight of how their interests would fit the employment landscape. They had passports while they kept sight of the trip.


Each of my successful relatives set out to learn all they could about their jobs and their fields.

They could express themselves clearly and professionally to co-workers, colleagues and clients. They all had made their own learning.

As they made their own learning, they identified and explored the new opportunities that learning opened up to them.

The most successful: never stopped learning.


As in any journey, you need to identify your vision when you decide to pursue an education. In college, I majored in marketing and economics because I’m interested in business and money, and because those two fields afforded flexibility in employment options. I pursued an MBA at night while working full-time, with my employer’s encouragement. My long-term goal has been to remain flexible. I have worked in retailing, real estate, insurance, and on the board of a local non-profit, which led to new opportunities in education-related fields. This in turn, led to a deeper interest in literacy and literature. Recently, I completed an online certificate program in English-to-Spanish translation, which supplements my blogging and my teaching at a local language school.


As you need to renew your passport, you also need to update your skills. By updating your skills, you stay ahead of the competition and become a more valuable worker, and you become more challenged in your job and in your everyday life. You are taking advantage of new opportunities. You are excited about the new blessings your work brings you and your loved ones. Your loved ones, in turn, become inspired by you.


Your purpose becomes your deeds. And it all started when you set out to get that passport for your journey: the education you had been thinking about.


Change is inevitable. But, making change happen when you want it to can be hard. And when you want to make a real change, you need to learn something new. Because education is the key to change, Kaplan has spent 75 years re-writing the rules of education. Because they believe that education is not one size fits all. A system focused on the needs of individuals can give students the power to change their lives. Kaplan wasn’t satisfied with the status quo, and you shouldn’t be either. To jumpstart your change, we encourage you to watch Kaplan’s video series, Visionary Voices, to hear the latest insights on emerging trends from notable thought leaders; participate in Kaplan’s ADVANCE: Career. Education. You. group on LinkedIn to connect with professionals committed to life-long learning; and connect with students, alumni and educational professionals at, Kaplan’s one-stop-shop for the latest education news, reviews, and advice.


I’d love to hear from you and learn how education has given you the power to change! Leave a comment below and be entered to win a $100 VISA gift card!




No duplicate comments.


You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:


  1. 1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
  2. 2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
  3. 3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
  4. 4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.


This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.


The Official Rules are available here.


This sweepstakes runs from 3/7/2013-3/31/2013


Be sure to visit the Kaplan Brand Page on where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win!

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111 Responses to “An Education: A Passport to Your Journey”

  1. Susan Smith Says:

    My education empowered me to make choices, which definitely changed my life. I haven chosen to stay home with my children now and when they are older and in school I can choose to work part or full time. I have more choices with the education I have.

  2. Susan Smith Says:

  3. Lisa Brown Says:

    Higher education, and my business degree, opened many doors for me and opportunities, which allowed me much
    personal growth and change.
    jslbrown_03 at yahoo dot com

  4. Lisa Brown Says:

    2nd entry tweet –
    jslbrown_03 at yahoo dot com

  5. rachel Says:

    My master’s degree opened up job doors for me that would’ve been closed otherwise.

  6. Merle M Says:

    my engineer degree helped me find a better job

  7. Merle M Says:

  8. Jessie C. Says:

    Higher education has given me more choices of life and work, I am able to do what I love while earning the living.

  9. Jessie C. Says:

  10. Kelly Massman Says:

    Education gives me the power to realize that I have talent and that I can stick to something so I’m not afraid to try new things. :-) Thanks for a chance to win and have a great day!

  11. Wild Orchid Says:

    Having an education took me from being a secretary to an accountant! It really gives you a chance to boost your career and definitely gave me more options.

    Thanks for the chance to win!

    wildorchid985 @ gmail dot com

  12. Wild Orchid Says:


    wildorchid985 @ gmail dot com

  13. Amy Tong Says:

    Education has given me the power to change, and to show my kids how important it is to stay in school. It gives me the power to change my family life.

    amy [at] utry [dot] it

  14. Amy Tong Says:


    amy [at] utry [dot] it

  15. sandra Says:

    education has given me the self-confidence to try for the top

  16. Cynthia C Says:

    I became an independent person because of my education.

  17. Cynthia C Says:


  18. sarah hirsch Says:

    Education has given me a strong foundation and I feel like I can make solid decisions. I can also make persuasive arguments when needed to push a bit of change along.

  19. Rebecca Graham Says:

    Education has given me the power to change my lifestyle.

  20. Maria Cantu Says:

    I like that I can stay home to take care of my children if I decide to.

  21. Tamar Says:

    my education has gotten me inspired to go into a field i love and have been extremely successful at!!!

  22. Stephanie V. Says:

    Education (and putting myself through undergrad at UC Berkeley and graduate school) is the whole reason I have a career, am confident and diverse, and can lead my family and career in forward motions — to change whenever life demands it!
    tvollowitz at aol dot com

  23. sy Says:

    I got my job because of my education, and I can stay in the us because of my job, I like having flexible hours and being able to work from home, I’m very happy with the education I got.

  24. sy Says:

    Seems like my tweet didn’t show up so trying to post again:

  25. Robin M. Says:

    Knowledge is something that cannot be taken away from you!

  26. nannypanpan Says:

    it gave me the ability to walk into job interviews knowing i know my stuff and have a degree to back it and that i can aim high

  27. Adrienne Gordon Says:

    It allows me to be able to run my own business successfully.

  28. Whitney Says:

    Getting my bachelors degree was a great decision. It gave me the opportunity to get a great job that pays well & allows me to live very comfortably.

  29. Whitney Says:


  30. ky2here Says:

    I never knew or understood the concept of critical thinking until I was in College. This changed my life.

  31. ky2here Says:

  32. Chelsea Says:

    Receiving an education has given me the power to have choices and do what I want with my life. Whether I’m learning English, Math, or to Dental Assisting as I did at Kaplan! I love to learn something new everyday!

  33. Solducky Says:

    Education has given me the power to change by exposing me to many people from very different backgrounds and lifestyles, with differing viewpoints, and helped me learn how to not just coexist with them but be in community with them as well.

  34. Solducky Says:

  35. Ellie W Says:

    I was pregnant with my third son while finishing my first semester of college courses. I thought it was important to finish no matter how hard it was at the time. It helped me get a good job afterward getting my degree and give my kids a better life.

  36. Ellie W Says:


  37. Kelly D Says:

    Education has given me the power to change because after attaining my MBA, many doors were opened in the workplace. This allowed me to move up within my career and I was able to put my ideas to use and have my opinions heard.

  38. Kelly D Says:


  39. Margaret Smith Says:

    Education has given me confidence to apply for different jobs. Thanks so much.

  40. Margaret Smith Says:

    I tweeted:

  41. Kyl Neusch Says:

    the opportunity to get a degree

  42. Debbie B Says:

    it has given me a great job that i love

  43. Debbie B Says:

    tweeted here;

  44. April V. Says:

    All through high school, I coasted. None of it seemed relevant to me and I found it mostly boring and it was easy enough to get decent grades without trying too hard. I learned very different when I started college. I was required to listen, pay attention, do my work and produce results in order to get good grades and that was a big shock. Thankfully I got over it pretty quickly!

  45. Mary Calabrese Says:

    My education has lead me to my current job where I help thousands of college students finance their educations.

  46. Leston Mitchell *Dad To Be* Says:

    “A good head and good heart are always a formidable combination. But when you add to that a literate tongue or pen, then you have something very special.”

  47. Susan Ladd Says:

    Education is a must to get a good paying job in this job market these day. I want to thank you for this awesome sweep and hope to win :) Thanks !!!

  48. edq143 Says:

    enter me thanks

  49. Katherine Says:

    My education and life experiences have enabled me to meet life situations head on

  50. Katherine Says:

  51. patricia skinner Says:

    I am still educating myself about MS. I have changed my diet and exercise.

  52. Lynn Says:

    Both of my parents are immigrants. I am a first generation college student studying healthcare. I hope to change the world by helping patients get better and providing for my parents so they can have the retirement they deserve.

  53. mickeyfan Says:

    I am in an industry (insurance) that is constantly changing and if you don’t educate yourself and keep up with the changes you will be totally left behind.

  54. steve weber Says:

    education gave me the skills I need to succeed in my career.

  55. Brittney House Says:

    My college experience has taught me very important life lessons. My education also opened new doors for me in my career.

  56. Janna Johnson Says:

    My social work degree gives me the power to help others change their lives.
    Thanks! Janna JOhnson janna@feedyourpig on gfc

  57. anash Says:

    Education has given me the power to adapt to the changing landscape of the workforce which is less manufacturing and more computer know how.

  58. anash Says:

    Thanks for the chance to win!
    email: anashct1 [at] yahoo [dot] com

  59. angie lilly Says:

    During college I learned that it is OK to disagree with your elders as long as you do it respectfully. Because of this I have had some very deep conversations with my parents that I never would have had before and that changed my relationship with my mom especially. We are much closer now than ever before and part of that is because I became unafraid of questioning.

  60. angie lilly Says:

    I tweeted here:

  61. Tamar Says:

    Education has empowered me to be my own boss and succeed.

  62. Sean Says:

    I was the first in my family to get a college education, and I am so glad I did. I was formerly a spec. ed. teacher and now a school psychologist. Without higher education, I would not have the opportunity to work at a job I love. I get to inspire kids everyday. Life is good.

    seanm 1999 at hotmail dot com

  63. Derk Thomas Says:

    Most jobs require a college degree and college made me think analytically.

  64. s riches Says:

    My education allows me to understand and examine alternate viewpoints that sometimes cause me to change my outlook on life.

  65. s riches Says:

    I tweeted

  66. Erica Best Says:

    i was able to get a better job

  67. Erica Best Says:

  68. Sarah L Says:

    At age 64 I continue to take classes and learn new things. Lately it’s been about essential oils and gardening.
    Thanks for the contest.

  69. Sarah L Says:

  70. Kimberly Hilbert Says:

    I have a great job in PT that I wouldn’t have without a college education.

  71. Kimberly Hilbert Says:

  72. cassandra mccann Says:

    to teach my kids

  73. Bruce Says:

    Education gave me a career vs. a job

  74. CharityS Says:

    Education has given me the power to succeed in life.

  75. CharityS Says:

  76. Brenda Elsner Says:

    Education has opened many doors for me.

  77. Kayla Says:

    It has given me the power to pursue a dream I had since I was 7.




    LUCKY $100 TWEET ->>>>

  80. jen gersch Says:

    education has enabled me to work in social work and broadened my horizons

  81. jen gersch Says:

  82. BusyWorkingMama Says:

    I changed my career from a useless economics undergrad to a CPA with my masters in accountancy.

  83. Alison M. Says:

    My education has taken me to the next level at my career.

  84. Kirsten Says:

    I was able to prove to myself that I could do it, enhancing my self-esteem.

  85. Kirsten Says:

  86. Kenny F. Says:

    education has given me choices

  87. Nancy Says:

    Education has opened many doors for me. It also gave me the confidence to strike out on my own and know that I will always be able to support myself.

  88. Pauline M Says:

    I didn’t take the easy way of obtaining my college education, but my company was really supportive, paid most of my tuition and allowed me to attend toward the end during work hours. It’s allowed me the ability to get some increases in pay and promotions into management positions. As a single mom, it’s great knowing that I can support my family on my own.

  89. marie Says:

    my education was set aside for many years, but i’m hoping to go back to school very soon- hope it opens many doors!

  90. Shirley Zolenski Says:

    My education has given me the power to have choices at many different jobs

  91. Tammy Greer Says:

    Having a college degree has opened doors for me in the world of business. I have been a restaurant franchisee and owner for almost 30 years and being self-employed has been a blessing in so many ways.

  92. Gianna Says:

    It helped me be more organized.

  93. cassandra Says:

    Education is life changing it gives you a better job and gives you confidence to accomplish many things

  94. Nicole Larsen Says:

    Education has given me power to be a veterinary technician. I am a stay at home mom now but attended college for a vet tech, so if i choose to go back I can!

  95. Nicole Larsen Says:


  96. Tabathia B Says:

    It helped me gain marketable job skills which enabled me to get a great job
    tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

  97. Tabathia B Says:

    tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

  98. kristy Says:

    Education gave us the power to take a good job in an urban environment, enabling us to sell our cars and reduce our overall consumption.

  99. Katharina Says:

    Education has given me the confidence to know that the changes I want to make are possible and good choices.
    Katharina angelsandmusic[at]gmail[dot]com

  100. mary j Says:

    Education has allowed me to grow as a person.

  101. heather c Says:

    The more I learn, the more I know I don’t know. It’s humbling, and I try to pass that on.

  102. Lillian Says:

    To earn more money than non graduates I know

  103. heather c Says:

    Tweet –

  104. Amanda Sakovitz Says:

    I’m going to school now to be a rad tech. It’s a two year program and its hard, I’m not going to lie. Thankfully I graduate in May but I’ve gotten to know myself better during this program than I ever have before and I think its made me stronger and a little more confident.

  105. Amanda Sakovitz Says:

  106. joni Says:

    Education gave me the options for my future. Although I didn’t use it the way I intended.

  107. joni Says:

  108. Thomas Murphy Says:

    education has opened the door to many unexpected opportunities for me.


  109. Thomas Murphy Says:

  110. Jill H Says:

    Education gave me the opportunity to get a higher paying job when I got out of school

  111. burghbaby Says:

    A little hard work and a lot of education is how I managed to climb out of the trailer park and into a beautiful home.