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Education roulette 

Street Smarts

In this glacially paced, jobless recovery, what's your best bet? Should you get a four-year degree or train for the trades?

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Ken Kennard from the south side is a business owner

Did you attend college? I went to St. John's in Santa Fe. Then I moved up here, and graduated from [Colorado College].

Do you think everyone should go to college? No. Trade schools are very honorable. We need to teach skills; people need a practical understanding of the real world.

What advice would you give a high-school graduate today? The most important thing is to learn how to think. I'd like to see us create a culture where people go through education the way they're going to have to go through life.

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Patty Morrissette from the central area is unemployed

Are you a high school graduate, and if so, what are your favorite memories? Yes, I graduated. I loved drama. I took drama classes for three years, and before I moved here I was an extra in two movies.

Did you attend college? I went for a while, but I didn't graduate. It was too expensive. I've been out now for seven years, and I'm still paying off my debt from student loans.

What's something you might do differently if you were in high school today? I'd get better grades and I'd make sure I graduated from college.

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Rene Fontanez from the northwest side is a truck driver

Did you graduate from high school, and if so, what's your favorite memory? Yes, I graduated. The principal bet I wouldn't graduate, and I bet him five bucks I would. My favorite memory is when he had to give me the five bucks.

How important is a college education today? It's not needed. It's better to learn on the job, or go to trade school.

What would be a good trade to learn? Get a CDL [commercial drivers license]; there will always be a need for truck drivers.

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Gloria McCartan from Fountain is a business owner

Are you a high-school graduate? Yes, I graduated; in my family, dropping out wasn't an option.

Did you go to college? I went some, but I have no regrets that I didn't get a degree.

What do you think about the cost of college these days? It's terrible. Some kids are coming out of CU-Boulder with a debt load of $250,000.

Do you think a college degree is necessary? No. I believe in free enterprise. Your work ethic will bring you more success than a college education.

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