I am a twice-honorably discharged Army Infantry and Desert Storm veteran. After my military service I leveraged my personal computer experience—something that was at a premium at that time—to find employment in the budding IT industry in Austin, Texas. After the dot-com bubble burst several years later those of us with no college education were among the first let go. I spent much of the next decade taking any job I could as the labor market shifted beneath my feet. I made the decision to go to college in 2007 after a series of menial, low-wage jobs, the last of which was in a cardboard box factory. I graduated cum laude in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science in economics and a minor in mathematics from Tarleton State University. I worked my way through graduate school as a highly qualified and certified high school math and economics teacher and graduated in December 2013 with a master’s degree in economics, and received my doctoral degree in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies in August 2018.