2017 - Jon Queen, Class of 2012
Jon Queen faced many barriers before becoming the first in his family to earn a bachelor’s degree. He was raised in a home where his parents struggled with alcohol and drug abuse. Jon dropped out of high school at age 16. He fell into drug addiction and became a parent shortly after high school.
He drifted from job to job and lived life on the edge. He obtained his GED but college was never in his plans – until he met a pastor at his church. The pastor encouraged Jon to visit Metropolitan Community College. The visit changed the trajectory of his life.
Jon enrolled in 2010, still unsure if college was for him. What he discovered in himself was a strong aptitude for the classroom. His instructors were a source of encouragement and with the help of MCC’s TRiO program, he received additional guidance and support. Jon made the Dean’s List every quarter. He graduated in 2012 with an Associate of Arts – Business Administration with an overall GPA of 4.0. He was a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and a recipient of the Business Administration Division Scholarship through the MCC Foundation.
He worked as a TRiO tutor until he graduated summa cum laude in business administration from the University of Nebraska Omaha in 2015. Jon cared about the TRiO students he tutored – taking the time to call and check on them if they missed a session. As a former TRiO participant himself, he is a continued source of inspiration for others.
Jon continues to serve his community. In 2011, he took it upon himself to coordinate with No Frills Supermarket to personally deliver donated bread to a local food pantry. He is a deacon of his church and adult Sabbath school teacher. He leads a Bible study group entitled R.I.O.T. (Reaching In and Out Together). The group completes service work and raises funds for local and global projects.
Jon has inspired others to return to school and assisted his friends in enrolling at MCC – even starting their application for them!
Jon lives with his daughter and works as an Insurance Wholesale Underwriter for Berkshire-Hathaway Homestate Companies. He dreams of one day owning his own company.