Somerset Community College is proud to honor Jonathon Wilson as the newest member of the Super Sunday Hall of Fame. Super Sunday is an annual Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) statewide initiative intended to increase the college-going rate of students of color. As part of this initiative, a Super Sunday Hall of Fame has been established, highlighting outstanding African-American alumni. Wilson is a native of Somerset. After graduating from high school, Wilson knew he wasn’t mature enough to handle college right away. For that reason, he enlisted in the United States Army at the age of 19. He served six years as an enlisted member of the Army and was deployed twice – once to Kosovo and once to a state-side deployment in Washington, D.C. During his state-side deployment to Washington, Wilson was part of the group of soldiers working to secure the Pentagon after the 9-11 terrorist attacks. After serving his country, Wilson took advantage of the GI Bill and went back to school at Somerset Community College. “I always knew college was in my future,” Wilson said. “But my path was a little different in getting there. I was a little timid about going back, but I knew it was something I needed to do for myself and my future.” While at SCC, Wilson began taking pre-nursing classes. For fun, he took a criminal justice class and realized his calling for the field. “I had been a military police officer in the army but I hadn’t really seriously considered staying in the field after I got out of the service,” Wilson said. “I’m glad SCC was able to offer that program since it’s where I was meant to be.” After graduating from SCC, Wilson enrolled at Eastern Kentucky University. He received his bachelor of science degree in criminal justice from EKU in 2008. After that, he moved to Washington, D.C. and served as part of the U.S. Marshall Service. Soon after, though, he realized he needed to go back into the Army to serve his country. “My family was supportive, but also concerned,” he said. “I had already been deployed twice and we were in a war, but it was what I needed to do.” Wilson’s family and friends had right to be concerned, as Wilson was deployed again, this time as a commissioned officer, to Afghanistan from February 2011 to January 2012, missing nearly the entire first year of his young son’s life. “I was able to stay for two weeks after he (Gabriel) was born,” Wilson said. “But I missed a lot – when he started crawling, when he rolled over for the first time, and when he started to walk. Now that I’m back, I’m thrilled to take care of ‘diaper duty’ and make up for that lost time.” Wilson is currently stationed at Fort Knox and plans to enter the Federal Law Enforcement after his service with the Army is complete. When asked what his time in the Army taught him, Wilson stated, “I learned to not take anything for granted. We need to appreciate all the freedoms and the lives we are able to live.” Regarding his induction in to the Super Sunday Hall of Fame, Wilson said he was both shocked and honored. “I hope I can be an example for non-traditional students,” he said. “My advice to all students – regardless of age, race, gender or other differences – is to be more than people expect of you. Our society has a way of stereotyping minorities and I hope that our teenagers today can rise above that and ‘be more.’ Nothing is out of their reach.” Wilson and his wife Sara reside at Fort Knox with their son Gabriel. In his free time, Wilson enjoys practicing martial arts and is a third degree black belt. During his time in the army, he received the Army Commendation Medal for his service in Afghanistan and the NATO Medal for service.
Somerset Community College is sponsoring two Super Sunday events on February 12. On this day, SCC and each of the other 15 KCTCS colleges and the system office will partner with churches in their communities to host information fairs for prospective college students and their families. SCC will sponsor Super Sunday at South Maple Street First Baptist Church, 309 South Maple Street, Somerset, at 11 a.m. and at Altamont Baptist Church, 1110 Littontown Road, East Bernstadt, at 11:30 a.m. Both events will be February 12. A catered luncheon and college fair will follow the services in the respective fellowship halls and Wilson will be introduced at the event in Somerset.
Super Sunday is a statewide initiative intended to increase the college-going rate of students of color. SCC will partner with these churches to reach out to parents and students to promote higher education. “We want students to know, yes, you can go to college. Yes, you can get a college degree. And yes, you can have a high paying job. Many potential students are aware of their educational opportunities, but they simply have questions about how to access the pipeline. Super Sunday will show them how to navigate the admission and financial aid process, as well as provide additional information about the educational possibilities that exist,” said SCC President and CEO, Dr. Jo Marshall. To read more about Somerset Community College and Super Sunday, visit somerset.kctcs.edu. Those with questions about cultural diversity initiatives may also contact Elaine Wilson, SCC Director of Cultural Diversity, at firstname.lastname@example.org.