January 09, 2023

“With education, you have so much freedom to do things and to explore. Education allows you to learn about the world. With liberal arts classes, you can learn about the world, and learn how to think critically.”

Jonathan Reeves has a natural curiosity about the world, loves to read, write—he’s a published poet— and is hungry to learn.

He started at the College last January, and quickly became a Tutor Linked to Classes (TLC), working with students in Century College faculty Yanmei Jiang’s English classes. (Tutors Linked to Classes is a successful faculty-driven program that links peer tutors to students in specific Century College courses.)

Prior to beginning at Century, Jonathan had worked a variety of jobs, from lawncare to retail in grocery stores, and he had also considered a career in the military, following in his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps, but that wasn’t the right “fit” for him. He needed to find his own path.

A talented musician who plays both piano and cello, Jonathan had had a negative experience in school; however, after attending a Century College Open House, he decided to give college a try, and started with faculty members Yanmei Jiang’s English class, Steve Odmark’s Ethics class, with an additional Student Success course.

Finding His Place at Century College

Flash forward a year later, and Jonathan is thriving. He loves being a TLC tutor. “I’ve learned a lot from my students. Century College has such a diverse student body. I enjoy interacting with people from different backgrounds,” Jonathan enthuses. “I meet incredible people and learn about different ways of life and religions.”

Inspired by some of his students, Jonathan researched Islam and chose the topic as his presentation in instructor David Lyon’s Human Geography class.

Honing Leadership Skills

Jonathan has found another outlet for his intellectual curiosity. Together with two other students, he formed the Civil Discourse Club, and serves as the club’s president. Last summer, they worked on the club’s charter, rules, and created a budget. They launched the club in Fall semester.

“The goal of the club is to get people with diverse viewpoints together to listen and talk with each other,” Jonathan notes. “Faculty members Steve Odmark did a presentation on politics, and Genzeb Terchino gave a presentation on a peacemaking project he was involved with in South Sudan.”

This month, Jonathan will continue networking and honing his skills by attending the state-wide Power in Diversity Leadership Conference.

Future Plans

Although it’s a bit early to have a definite future plan while he’s exploring a variety of classes and his varied interests, Jonathan is considering majoring in English, completing a four-year degree, and becoming a teacher.

He loves sharing his enthusiasm for learning with his tutees. “With teaching you are giving and getting back so much, and it’s different for each student. I really enjoy helping and guiding other students to understand and write better in ‘academic’ English.”

Whatever career choice he makes, Jonathan will continue to excel. “I’ve found my place at Century College.”

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