Do Not Be Afraid to Take Risks

Goals are important when it comes to succeeding in life. “Finding balance between creating realistic, achievable goals and creating goals from your dreams is important,” says TSTC Executive Vice President Rob Wolaver

Wolaver grew up and graduated from high school in Red Oak, Texas. He received a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a master’s degree in public administration from Tarleton State University. He went on to University of North Texas to get his doctorate of education training and development. Wolaver, however, said he did not finish his dissertation as his work obligations and priorities in life changed. He originally planned to stay at TSTC for only five years, but his love for the students and the environment of TSTC has kept him there for more than 18 years.

In recent semesters, he taught a cabinet-building class and loved the chance it gave him to teach students as well as build relationships with them. While he does not have much time, he hopes to teach a class like that again, so that he can increase his interactions with students to a daily basis.

“I love to work with wood,” says Wolaver, “and TSTC is a playground for guys like me. It’s what has kept me here for so long.”

When he became the executive vice president, the interaction he had with students decreased. “The only students I deal with regularly are those who are having some kind of trouble, and I wish I were able to interact with more students in a positive way,” said Wolaver.

Wolaver always encourages students to take risks in order to be extraordinary people and reach their dreams. Taking risks is important, especially when it comes to setting goals. “While it is important to set realistic goals, it is also important to set goals that are challenging and might lead to failure,” claims Wolaver. Though failing scares many people, Wolaver enforces his belief of not fearing it. He constantly tells those who seek his advice, “Do not be afraid to take risks. Do not be afraid if you’re wrong or fail. Failure is part of success.”

Over the years, Wolaver has helped many students, whether they were in trouble or simply needed advice or encouragement. More often than not, he does not get to see the outcome of the students he helps. That’s why his biggest reward is receiving cards or visits from past students who thanked him for his help.

“I get to see the actual impact I had on someone, and when it’s positive, it really lifts up your day,” said Wolaver. He also believes it is important to remember “true value is not our worth, job, or title, but the impact we have on others.”

Shayla Crane