This I Believe

KUHF-Houston Public Radio’s “This I Believe” with Pamela Farrell

Pamela Ferrell is a special education teacher in the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District and she says her 3rd grade students are a continuing source of joy. She says working with these students confirms her belief that a journey filled with challenges can produce remarkable successes.


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Pamela is originally from Iowa and as a young adult, she moved to California. She went to the west coast to become a teacher, but “life” got in the way. Prior to getting her teaching certificate, Pamela worked as a nanny, a party entertainer (clown), an office receptionist and several other jobs…but she never gave up the dream of becoming a teacher. 15 years to the day of her move to California, she attended her first class toward a teaching certificate.

In 2005, Pamela met the man who would become her husband. He lived in Cypress, just north of Houston, and she moved to Texas to pursue their life together. Pamela says “chivalry is not dead in Texas” and she’s proud to be a “southern girl”. She admits her journey is nothing short of remarkable and she believes the love she receives at home and in the classroom is her reward.

Here is Pamela Farrell with her essay for Houston Public Radio’s This I Believe.

“In American culture everyone is now seemingly obligated to have a mission statement, as though we are the CEOs of our own private companies. In light of our fastidious way of life, maybe this does seem fitting. The problem, as I see it, is not the idea of a mission statement. The problem is the expectation of what that mission statement should include for one’s life…such as the strong emphasis that our society seems to place on material possessions. Success is being defined by your stock-market value. I recall a television advertisement that portrayed a successful person as one who went public with his million-dollar business while an unsuccessful person lived with his parents — it was portrayed just that simply. The same week I saw this advertisement, I read an article detailing the life and eventual suicide of a so-called “successful” businessman. His acquaintances all reported that in his final days his only thoughts were at how lonely he was. So, was he really successful?

I believe that a part of success is the ability to enjoy the journey through which one travels to meet the destination. It seems the achievement of each goal is the beginning of yet another challenge. I sometimes ask myself, “Am I a successful person?” Well, the jury is still out as the journey is not yet over. My parents have always taught me that to be successful means to give 100% of one’s self. While this has developed into my definition of success, I feel as though the absence of trying new endeavors is truly the greatest failure. Each new step along life’s path enables us to build passageways from our own perspective to that of others. Each new challenge imparts an opportunity for growth and an occasion for service – service to our God, service to our family, and service to our community. This I believe.