Commencement Spotlight: Jonathan Owens
May 12, 2021
SHSU Media Contact: Emily Binetti
“Commencement Spotlight” is a series focused on highlighting SHSU graduates who have made remarkable strides in their lives to reach commencement day. These stories from Bearkats graduating this month, who have demonstrated a “can-do” spirit through challenges and service, remind us of the many ways Sam Houston State University is preparing students for meaningful lives of achievement. Visit today@sam/commencementspotlight to find the list of stories highlighted so far.
Round Rock, Texas
Degree: Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
As a first-generation student starting out at SHSU, Jonathan Owens was faced with the many challenges of navigating through a brand-new world with little experience. Despite the struggles, he found the support he needed and the spirit of perseverance to pull-through and earn a degree.
What challenges did you face to complete your degree?
JO: As a first generation college student, I could not solely rely on the experience of my family to help me through tough school issues such as roommate squabbles and navigating the tough balance of school, work, and newfound freedom. It has been difficult, but it has made me stronger and more independent.
I also unexpectedly lost my father in Jan. of 2020, just before the pandemic hit full force. This last year has been tough for everyone, but without him, it has been especially devastating for me. I know he is looking proudly down on me as I complete this great challenge in education, something he never had the opportunity to attain.
What future career goals do you have?
JO: My long-term goal is to open a nonprofit community action and service center that will be all encompassing. From after school programs for children and teens, to rehabilitation therapy and domestic violence sheltering. My goal is to provide a place where anyone who needs help. I want to provide a place where those who have been impacted by drugs in the home or victims of violence can turn for a safe place, and work through their problems, while providing services that give back to the community, such as food pantries, community education, and blood drives.
What will you miss most about your time as an SHSU student?
JO: I will miss the abundance of resources that are at my disposal at SHSU. The library and its databases paired with the professionals in the classroom are a gateway to limitless information. I sure will miss that, once I am no longer a student.
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