My education is directly related to my parents lack of the same. My father was smart. He was a high school graduate who enjoyed a good (albeit hard) blue collar career with the Bethlehem Steel. But he regretted not taking advantage of the GI Bill to further his education. My mother never graduated high school. The second youngest of six children she was told by her parents that she could not go to college. She wanted to be a teacher. So she dropped out of high school. Needless to say, Mom & Pop Reilly encouraged us four kids to get an education. Mom always said that “she would scrub floors” if necessary to pay for it. And we did. All four graduated college.
An additional bit about my education. I learned just as much in my four years on the shop floor of Butler Manufacturing as I did in my other schooling. Another lesson was learned by paying for my own college and law school educations (through loans & jobs) without burdening my parents.
1980 Lebanon High School
1984 Shippensburg University (Communications/Journalism) B.A.
1990 The Dickinson School of Law J.D.
Having been a school and yearbook photographer in high school, I attended Shippensburg (a great school) hoping to become a photo journalist. As for Dickinson, I remember visiting the school and being in complete awe of it. I was living at home and working as a welder when I applied. I felt my life change as I opened and read the acceptance letter.
During my first two years of law school (which like college is full of general education classes) I continued working as a welder. That was an unforgettable two years of my life. I moved to an apartment in Carlisle (208 N. College Ave.) to be close to the law school. I drove an hour from there to Annville where I worked 3rd shift as a welder. After my shift I showered and drove an hour back to Carlisle in the morning, the rising sun in my face. Those grooves that vibrate your car if you glide off the road saved my life more than once. I attended classes, did homework, grabbed some sleep, and repeated, for two years. I kid you not, I ate meals and brushed my teeth while driving.