||Dishonda Brown graduated from John Adams High School in 1994. She was a better-than-average student and while she knew there was more education she could attain, no one in her family had ever attended college. “My mother was a single parent raising four children,” she said. “She wanted us to graduate from high school, get a job and then get on with life. Those (things) were important to her.”
| After high school, Brown began working as a nursing assistant in nursing homes and for home health care companies. Two years out of high school, she married her boyfriend, Emmett Jones Jr., and their daughter, Daijahnae, was born. It was then that Jones and her husband decided she should go to school to improve her own circumstances and set an example for their daughter and the rest of the family.
Enrolling at Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C®) as a part-time student allowed Jones to work full time as an STNA (state-tested nursing assistant) at MetroHealth Medical Center, be a wife and mom and take courses. Jones found her teachers encouraging, supportive and accommodating. She felt she needed to be pushed and she received that gentle shove from her instructors.
“I was in a small math class and one day I needed to take my daughter, who was 5 at the time, with me to class. My teacher was wonderful about it,” said Jones. “After class my daughter said to me, ‘Mommy, I am going to college and make my parents proud.’ Now she is 16 and in honors and AP classes at Bedford High School with a 4.0 grade (point) average. Tri-C can take big credit for that.”
Gradually, Jones shifted from nursing classes to a broader range of course work. She earned her Associate of Arts degree and walked across the stage at the State Theatre during last December’s historic mid-year graduation ceremony.
Jones is on target to begin classes this fall in the Organizational Leadership Skills program at Baldwin Wallace University with a minor in Human Resources. She is still working in home health care and her educational plans will let her keep setting a good example for her daughter and family.
“I have truly enjoyed my educational experience at Cuyahoga Community College,” said Jones. “I would recommend Tri-C for anyone looking to enhance their future.”