Strong Work Ethic Key to Student's Success

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MARIETTA, OH (April 6, 2017)--Don Jox is burning the candle at both ends as he’s making his mark in the education arena at Washington State Community College (WSCC). The 59-year-old entrepreneur runs his small business, goes to school full-time, is actively involved on campus and manages to maintain honors-level grades. While his active life leaves little time for sleep, it has gained him some notoriety on campus as April’s Student of the Month.

When Jox decided to enroll in college, he had no idea the obstacles he would have to overcome to find success. At his initial visit to WSCC he had to take a placement test to assess his math, reading and writing skills. Out of the gate, Jox had to confess he didn’t even know how to turn on the computer. But as he would very soon learn, computer literacy was the least of his academic hurdles. Nearly 40 years out of high school, he was faced with the knowledge that he was severely dyslexic. What this means for Jox is that it takes him longer to get through his lessons. “My single biggest challenge is being able to read and comprehend college-level material in the time that is available,” he acknowledged.

Undaunted by what others may perceive as stumbling blocks, the Business Management student persevered, something he’s always done. It's his determination that has made him a success in life. As the owner of Don Jox Show Horses, he holds national and world titles for his horse exhibitions. Day-in and day-out he begins every morning at 4 a.m. in the barn, then heads to class, returns home to give riding lessons, and finally concludes the evening with chores and homework, rarely hitting the hay before midnight.

This busy lifestyle doesn’t seem out of the ordinary for this hardworking Waterford resident. As someone who works for himself, he understands the value of hard work and a solid work ethic. “I’ve always been self-employed, so you’ve got to get the job done. If you don’t work, you don’t eat,” he said matter-of-factly. He has successfully applied his “get it done” philosophy to college and it’s paying off. “When you develop that work ethic, it doesn’t change when you approach school work. It’s all the same,” Jox explained.

 Last year he was inducted into Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), the International Honor Society of Two-Year Colleges, which requires the completion of a minimum of 12 credit hours and a cumulative grade-point average of 3.5. He is currently serving at the club’s president and was recently nominated for the Most Distinguished Chapter Officer Award at both the regional and national level.

Brad Merritt, WSCC Business Management Professor, who serves as Jox’s academic advisor and PTK club advisor, expressed his admiration for all that Jox has accomplished at WSCC. “Whatever Don does, he is a leader,” said Merritt. “He has gone above and beyond as a student and as President of the Alpha Rho Gamma Chapter of PTK,” citing numerous ways he has volunteered at on and off campus events.

Jox, who is set to graduate in May with his degree in Business Management Technology, is already putting his classroom knowledge to work in his business. Expanding on an existing product, he recently designed and developed a new show horse cart and has already established some clientele. “In class I’ve learned a different perspective on how to market. It’s not just creating a product and selling it, but it’s devising a strategic plan on how to sell it.”

Jox hinges his success on his work ethic. “WSCC is structured for success and not for failure,” he maintained. “But it goes back to work ethic—Do your job, and in this case, do your homework.”

For 45 years, Washington State Community College has provided residents of the Mid-Ohio Valley the opportunity to realize dreams, to enhance skills, and to broaden understanding. Whether you are a recent high school graduate or an adult student looking to move your life in a new direction, Washington State has the classes to suit your needs. For more information about Washington State Community College, visit www.wscc.edu or call 740.374.8716.

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