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Adult learner finds success through Doane

Jorge Jones was about six months out of high school, working at a factory, when he realized he wanted something better. He decided he needed training.

He walked onto Doane’s Grand Island campus, designed for adult and graduate students, and told the receptionist he wanted to be in business. The next Tuesday, he was in classes.

“The first time I attended class as an undergraduate I was nervous. I was worried,” Jorge said. “I didn’t think college was for me.”

Jorge graduated with his Master’s of Art in Management on Sunday and was also commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army. He previously received his undergraduate degree from Doane’s School of Graduate and Professional Studies.

His first class was Ethics with long-time instructor Gerry Allen, who is also Doane’s Director of Foundation Relations.  Jorge said the way Allen put things made him think that college was possible.

“I learned so much that first day,” he said. “If it wasn’t for that (class) I would have gotten discouraged and wouldn’t have continued in college.”

Allen spoke highly of Jorge.

“He has this very positive attitude about life,” he said. “He always had this great motivation.”

Allen was not the only Doane professor that inspired Jorge. Randy Blair, an adviser, professor, and the campus’ director at the time, convinced Jorge to continue his education and get his master’s degree.

Jorge worked towards getting his Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) training during the same time. He said he always wanted to be an officer in the army and was looking for a way to make it possible.

“I just got on the Internet and started making phone calls and asked for the closest ROTC agent that was around,” he said.

Jorge found out the program was only for undergraduates, but received a waiver to get training through the University of Nebraska Kearney.

Jorge’ experience at Doane helped him convince other members of his family to receive their degree from the college.

His wife and brother-in-law received their undergraduate and Master’s of Art in Management degrees from Doane and his sister received her Master’s of Art in Counseling from Doane.

“They all wanted to go to school and I told them ‘Go to Doane College,’” Jorge said. “You learn from people that are already in the field and it’s a great place.”

Jorge hopes to get a job in the construction industry or in the military as a full-time officer. He would also like to contribute to his community by helping students who don’t know what they want to do in their futures.

“I think that would be very satisfying,” Jorge said. “I had to find my way and it was very hard, but I was able to find a way to attend college.”

 

PHOTO: Nate Knobel '14