Senior Jason McClure graduated from Scottsboro High School in May 1993. After two semesters at community college, he decided to get a job: frankly, he wanted the money. He chose retail, quickly worked his way into management and went to warehousing in 2000.
"I loved it," McClure said. "Job was great. Six o' clock in the morning to two o' clock in the afternoon. I couldn't complain." But he was laid off in 2010, when the company sent production overseas. And so he enrolled at Jacksonville State in Jan. 2011. He chose to major in communcation, specifically broadcast.
"When I graduated from high school, I never knew what to major in. I didn't know what I wanted to be in life."
McClure was given advice he still treasures to this day.
"Someone told me, 'Okay, get your core curriculum, just get your Associate's. After you get that, sit down one day and think about what you'd do for free. Major in that, and then challenge yourself to make money.'"
Twenty years later, McClure is doing just that.
He'll graduate in August 2013.
He chose to push the date from spring to summer simply for the experience.
"I don't want to do a shoddy internship," he said. "I want to do a good internship in the summer."
McClure loved his job, but he's happy now. "If I hadn't been laid off, I would never have went back to school and pursued the one thing I know that I'm good at," he said. "Is it arrogance? Is it cockiness? No. It's finding that one thing in life that you're good at."
So does McClure regret the road he chose out of high school?
"The respect and appreciation of it now wouldn't have been there back then. There is nothing I would change," he said.
"I can only live for now and the future. Live in the present and prepare for the future.
"It's cliche, but it's true."