For San Juan College student Jason Frank, taking the first step was the most difficult.
After graduating from Kirtland High School in 1993, Frank spent four years in the United States Army, three of those years in Germany. He returned to Farmington in 1997 where he held a variety of jobs in the oil and gas business.
In 2004, Frank was faced with a new challenge – because of a motorcycle accident he lost coordination on the left side of his body and was hospitalized for three months. He underwent four brain surgeries, had a hip replacement, and relearned to walk again.
Since recovering from the accident, Frank has not looked back. “Taking the first step was the hardest part,” he says. “I knew I wanted to go to school, but I knew it would be difficult.”
In the fall of 2007, he took that first step and enrolled at San Juan College. His determination will soon pay off – Frank will receive his associate degree in automotive technology in the spring of 2011 and his associate degree in diesel technology in the spring of 2013.
His hard work has not gone unnoticed. In April, Frank was awarded a San Juan College Student Excellence Award for automotive technology from the School of Trades and Technology.
Jim Rooker, Manuel Montoya, Jeff Schofield and Mike Tenski, SJC faculty who nominated Frank for the award, all agree, “Jason is an excellent student – hardworking, reliable and very helpful to other students in class.”
In addition to keeping up with his classes at San Juan College, Frank is a devoted father to his children, ages 13 and 15.
Upon completion of his degrees at San Juan College, he hopes to transfer to a four-year institution and study engineering.
“I want to set an example for my children,” he says. “I hope to encourage them to continue their education and help them realize that they can overcome life’s challenges and achieve their dreams.”