Arkansas State University - Newport

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May 2019

#MyASUNstory: Charley Marble

It can be hard to take a chance on yourself. It can be even harder when you know the sacrifices and challenges you’ll face by taking that chance. Charley Marble knows the fear in taking a chance on yourself. 

Marble is a student in Arkansas State University-Newport’s Automotive Service Technology program. He’s preparing for graduation in May, but the road to a degree was a long one.

“I’ve always wanted to be my own boss and do something for myself,” Marble said. “I actually used to dream of playing basketball. It didn’t happen, and I should have went to college a long time ago.”

For a decade Marble has worked in a factory in Northeast Arkansas.

“Maybe about three years ago, I started to work on my own vehicle because I didn’t want to keep paying,” Marble said. “So I realized that I actually enjoyed it. I enjoy working with my hands so I came and toured the campus. I emailed Mike and came down to tour the campus, but I made excuses to not enroll because I was working full-time on first shift.”

He knew that to go to college and work at the same time would be rough. He knew it would change his entire life. So he put it off until a friend’s joke pushed him to change.

“Just made me say, you know what I’m going to do it,” Marble said. “I’ll deal with all the sacrifices I have to make. And the joke was, I’ve been working at my job 10 years, and I was still not making $15. I started out making $12, so I felt like in ten years I should have been higher, you know, on the pay grade but I wasn’t. So this friend of mine cracked a joke and was like well you are probably going to be here another five years doing the same old thing. So I was like, yea I have to do something. It hit me differently, you know it was funny, but it kind of struck a nerve too. I think a week later I was enrolled in school.”

He enrolled at ASU-Newport at the end of 2017 and was ready to start classes in 2018. He changed his shift at work to third shift to accommodate for classes during the day.

“It’s been a long journey from working overnight, driving straight to school, being here all day, no sleep,” Marble said. “I was sleeping on every break that I got here at the school so I really wasn’t eating much. Every break I had at work I was sleeping. I would get out of school at 4:20 p.m. and go home sleep about three hours, if that, and I would be up by 9:30 p.m. getting ready to do it all over again. It was stressful.”

But Marble said he knew the sacrifices had to be made to better himself. He looks forward to working in a career he is passionate about.

“I think I just like seeing things come in one way and going out new or running like new,” Marble said. “I like seeing things get repaired. I like repairing them. I’ve always liked taking things apart.”

While he doesn’t know what he will do following graduation, Marble knows the value of his education.

“I feel like it will give me more freedom, opportunities to make more money, go higher in this field,” Marble said. “I could actually be a boss somewhere, maybe teach school, do this same thing. Who knows, maybe I’ll end up back here teaching.”

Click here to learn more about ASU-Newport’s Automotive Service Technology Program.