September 04, 2014

Manchin visits TCHS seniors | Parsons Advocate

HAMBLETON – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin told Tucker County High School seniors an education is the greatest equalizer and the best investment they will ever make in their lives. Manchin met with TCHS seniors last Monday during his visit to the region.

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin visits with Tucker County High School seniors last Monday at the school.
U.S. Senator Joe Manchin visits with Tucker County High School seniors last Monday at the school.

“There will be times when you say it isn’t worth it and times you say you cannot afford an education,” Manchin said. “You may have every excuse in the world why you don’t want to get an education. But it is the greatest equalizer you will ever have.”

I was born and raised in Farmington and there were about 500 people in the town,” Manchin said. “There were about 75 seniors in my high school and went to West Virginia University to play football. I understood the importance of an education and was the first person in my family to get an education.”

Manchin said getting that education came with challenges.

“My father had a little business and it burned down,” Manchin said. “We lost everything. I dropped out of college to go back and help my family. I could have said that was it but I knew it was important to go back and finish.”

Manchin said he could not imagine someone growing up in a small town having so many opportunities.

“I came from a little school and have the opportunity to be in the public process – government services,” Manchin said. “I became the governor of West Virginia – I did not come from big time, big money. I lived between the creek and the tracks and was raised in a three-room garage apartment.”

Manchin said he has been through it all.

“The bottom line is education was the great equalizer for me,” he said. “It gave me the opportunity to be on equal par with everyone else. I can compete at any level – I felt very confident of that. That’s because of education. So I cannot say enough about the opportunity you have.”

Manchin said he because involved in politics when he was 35 because he thought he could help the public.

“I got involved because I thought it could be better,” Manchin said. “I thought public service was serving the public not serving myself.”

Manchin also encouraged the seniors to leave a little meat on the bone for the next dog.

“That means, in the real world, in the business world, in the world of life, leave a little bit for someone else,” he said. “Don’t try to take it all. It’s hard to get people to think that way because we are in a millennial generation where it’s all about me.”

Tucker County High School Principal Jay Hamric said Manchin’s visit was prompted after he Skyped with several students and was impressed their responses.

“We are happy to have Senator Manchin visit our school and spend time getting to know our students,” Hamric said.


By:  Beth Christian Broschart