Outstanding Students

Jay Bateman

Where are you from? Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Why did you choose Kirkwood? Besides proximity and affordability, I chose Kirkwood because I was able to create flexible class schedules. This allowed me keep up with the demands of having a young family and be successful as a student.

What is your major and how did you choose it? I’m a Social Work transfer major, AA and will later pursue the CADC (Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor). I have a heart for helping people with substance abuse issues. I struggled with Alcohol Use Disorder for eight years. Kirkwood has been a huge part of my recovery plan. 

What has been your proudest moment at Kirkwood? Probably the end of last semester, which was my most challenging so far. Despite the challenges, I ended up making the Dean’s List.

What are your plans after Kirkwood? I plan on continuing to clock my service hours for the CADC. My associate’s degree should help me get my foot in the door somewhere that can help me pay for my continued education. Ideally, I would like to keep working toward my bachelor’s at a four-year institution.

What inspires or motivates you? My faith and family are my biggest inspirations. My wife, two-year-old son and church family have been rooting for me since I started at Kirkwood.

Tell us about who you are outside of Kirkwood. Very recently, I’ve been trying to get my son pedaling on his tricycle before summer gets here. I’m constantly working on stuff around our house. That includes everything from renovating our guest bathroom to keeping our yard looking pretty.

What does being named an Outstanding Student mean to you? Going back to school at 32 was something I initially doubted I could successfully accomplish. Apparently, I still have a few brain cells firing at full capacity. Being named an Outstanding Student at Kirkwood gives me a great sense of accomplishment but more importantly sets a good example for my son. I will genuinely be able to tell him that he can also overcome most challenges by having faith, setting goals, working hard, asking for help and taking advantage of the resources available to him. 

Is there anything else you’d like to add? I wouldn’t be sober today or successful as a student without the love and support of my wife Jamie. She always sees something good in me.

Categories: Outstanding Students