A long, hard road to a worthwhile goal

Jaye Jones-Daves graduated with honors from Southwest Colorado Community College. Enlargephoto

Sam Green/Cortez Journal

Jaye Jones-Daves graduated with honors from Southwest Colorado Community College.

Jaye Jones-Daves, 49, has had to overcome many obstacles in her path to her Associates of Arts degree in business management. After working part-time jobs, she decided she needed to get an education to get a better job to help support her family as a single mother of two sons, 16 and 21 years old. She started at Southwest Colorado Community College West in January 2010. Working more than full time, and attending school part-time, it has taken her three and a half years to finish her associates.

Jones-Daves, of Cortez, was honored with two prestigious awards at the SCCC graduation on Sunday, May 12. at Fort Lewis College. She was named the Outstanding Graduate in the Business and Technology Division, an honor given to only two business graduates on the four campuses of Pueblo Community College. She was also recognized by the Alumni Association for a Graduate Recognition Award, which included a $250 grant. She is a magna cum laude graduate and a member of Phi Theta Kappa honor society.

Organization and planning have been crucial as she has juggled five part—time jobs at the same time she attended college. She has been able to maintain a 3.84 grade point average. Her daily planner is her best friend.

“I have to write everything down in my planner so I know where I’m supposed to be. You just do the best you can. Nothing ever seems to go as planned, so you also have to be flexible,” she says.

As a student, she was active as a leader. She organized study groups in every class she took, tutored others in accounting, and recruited other students to take required business classes.

“I’m an encourager — I encourage other students, but sometimes I need encouragement, too,” she says. She follows the rule that students should spend two hours studying outside of class for every hour in class, often leaving campus at 7 or 8 p.m. at night.

Despite the hard work, she says, “College is the best part of my life right now. I’m trying to get the college experience with real people, not online. Education is valuable. When you learn more and you know more, you can help others more.”

She also was a volunteer with Tax Help Colorado.

Her future plans are to earn a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Fort Lewis College, starting in the fall. As she puts it, “I don’t know how it’s all going to work, but I just take one step at a time.”

SCCC offers a variety of business classes needed for the Associate of Arts in business management, which is guaranteed transferable to most Colorado four-year colleges. Enrollment is now underway for summer and fall classes. For more information, call (970) 564—6200 or visit the campus at 33057 Highway 160, just east of the fairgrounds.