Family comes first for Papillion La Vista High School senior Jonathan (he/they). When they started to think about college, it was a no-brainer because Jonathan watched their sister and mother attend college. Looking at his family members’ accomplishments, he knew he wanted to partake in his own college journey, starting with joining College Possible. Jonathan is the second person in his family to participate in College Possible — sister Sabrina is a College Possible graduate and is currently serving as an AmeriCorps member.
Family tradition has shaped Jonathan’s career goals in other ways, too. They said they were largely inspired by their grandma, who bakes bread and cakes and sells them at a farmers market. One day, Jonathan hopes to own a bakery in a busy part of town where it will be an inviting space for all to come in and enjoy a sweet treat.
I want to get my business degree so I know how to run a bakery,” says Jonathan. “Once I receive my bachelor’s degree, I plan on going through a two-year culinary arts program to refine my skills,” he adds.
Jonathan plans on majoring in business in college. To get a head start, they have taken two courses with Metropolitan Community College, Algebra 2 and Technical Writing. They are considering visiting a few college campuses to see what they have to offer before deciding which one to attend. They have already been accepted to the University of Nebraska–Omaha, Lincoln and Kearney, and are also looking into Wayne State College as a possible opportunity.
Jonathan has also been inspired to continue their education because of the pandemic, saying, “The pandemic really stole my high school experience. I hope to get a full college experience where I can be with friends, connect with people in person, and find some normalcy — whatever that is.”
The COVID-19 pandemic hit during Jonathan’s first year of high school, forcing them to learn from home. They really value seeing friends at school now because, for a year, they weren’t able to, out of concern for the safety of their loved ones who are immunocompromised.
When offered the chance to join College Possible, it was a given for Jonathan — he already wanted to further his education and had seen the program’s benefits for his sister. He said his first year in the program was a little different because a lot of the sessions were virtual, but the program has returned to an in-person model for the 2022–23 school year.
College Possible is special because it’s a safe environment for me and my friends to be ourselves, regardless of our gender, sexuality or race,” says Jonathan. “It also is giving me the tools and opportunities to continue my education and allowing me to connect with more people in my school.”