PITTSBURG — All he has to do is pay a dollar a day.
Pittsburg resident Josh Lewis is among the very first to be part of the Walmart Better U program.
The program gives Walmart associates the opportunity to go back to college for just $1-a-day or gain their high school diploma for free.
Lewis graduated from Bartlesville High School in Bartlesville, Okla., in 2011. He started his college career at Oklahoma State University and then transferred to Allen County Community College and then to Kansas State University. Lewis also changed his major a few times, uncertain what he should do for his future career.
Despite his efforts, Lewis did not complete his degree.
Around the time his son Jase — now almost 4 — was born, he and his wife, Kristin, decided to move to Pittsburg, closer to family in the area.
When Lewis moved to Pittsburg he considered going back to school, but “with having a baby around it didn’t seem like that was going to work out,” he said.
Lewis then started working for Walmart, starting in the back room. From there on out he had several roles within the Pittsburg Walmart until he had the opportunity to become an Academy Coordinator, a training center for Walmart Associates. The academy trains Walmart assistant and department managers in the area.
“I get with their personnel and store manager and see when they can get in to train,” he said. “I really enjoy the position, it’s a great way for me to connect and see a lot of people.”
Through the Better U Program, Walmart helps provide education through different universities, Lewis said. According to a release from Walmart, the program now offers to cover 14 new degrees, a graduation bonus program and a pathway for high school students.
“I started thinking I should finish my degree,” he said.
Even with his daughter Karter, who was born at 7:53 a.m., Tuesday at 7 pounds, 10 ounces, he plans to complete a degree in business management and leadership with the help of the Better U Program.
According to Lewis, the program will save him thousands of dollars in student loans.
“I really just wanted to finish a degree,” Lewis said. “I went to several different colleges and changed my major several times, I wanted that degree to actually be finished.”
Most of all, his children inspired him to go back to school.
“I want to be the example for my son and my daughter,” he said. “I want to show them that, one, a sense of accomplishment, and sometimes you have to change the way you get your goal, but you still get that goal done.”
Lewis goes to school online at his own pace which fits his work and family schedule through Bellevue University. He is set to graduate in the spring of 2020.