Don Jox burned the candle at both ends while he made his mark in the education arena at Washington State Community College (WSCC). The 59-year-old entrepreneur ran his small business, went to school full-time, was actively involved on campus, and managed to maintain honors-level grades.
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 he learned 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 meant for Jox was that it took 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. It was his determination that made him successful throughout his life. As the owner of Don Jox Show Horses, he holds national and world titles for his horse exhibitions. As a student, day-in and day-out he began every morning at 4 a.m. in the barn, then headed to class, returned home to give riding lessons, and finally concluded the evening with chores and homework, rarely hitting the hay before midnight.
This busy lifestyle didn’t seem out of the ordinary for the hardworking Waterford resident. As someone who works for himself, he has always understood 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 successfully applied his “get it done” philosophy to college and it paid off. “When you develop that work ethic, it doesn’t change when you approach school work. It’s all the same,” Jox explained.
Jox hinged 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.”