Class of 2009
Eastern Illinois University
“I wasn’t like most 18 year-olds who were ready for college. I didn’t grasp the concept of money and I didn’t really have a plan to get through school. But I knew I wanted to help people.”
Jonathan recognized from a young age that getting a degree would help him fulfill his goals of being a positive example to his friends, family, and community. As a first-generation college student from Granite City, Jonathan enrolled at Eastern Illinois University to become a teacher and inspire young minds towards healthy lives. Financial and academic challenges affected his grades, causing setbacks on his journey to graduate.
When Jonathan came to The Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis for support, he was not receiving much federal aid. But he was determined to get a degree. He applied to the Interest-Free Loan Program for much-needed aid to fulfill his goals. In March 2015, Jonathan completed repaying his interest-free loan. He is working for the city of Granite City, his hometown. When reflecting on his experience with the Foundation, Jonathan says
“College was a great experience and benefited me in the job I am in right now. The process of learning really helped me grow as a person. If anyone has the means to help youth, what better way to support kids growing up than to help them get an education?”