RCC Graduate Overcomes Challenges in Pursuit of Higher Education

Education has the power to change the trajectory of someone’s life. Nick Johnson, who graduated from Rogue Community College in June 2023 with two associate degrees, experienced firsthand the positive impact of a community college education.

Nick lives in Talent and moved to Southern Oregon in March 2012. As a teenager, he struggled and had some legal troubles.

“Once I got to Oregon, things improved,” he said. “I stayed with a man who was a father figure to me. He helped me get my life together and encouraged me to get an education.”

Nick currently works as a cashier at T.J. Maxx and has been employed there for almost eight years.

“I worked while going to school. The company was very understanding and willing to work with me and my school schedule.”

There were many highlights for Nick during his time at RCC, including the small class sizes and diversity of subjects. However, the faculty left a lasting impression with Nick, especially one of his writing instructors.

“One of my teachers inspired me to improve my writing,” he said. “She taught me that my struggles don’t have to define me; I can overcome them and become a good writer.”

Her insight and support resonated with Nick, who has cerebral palsy. Born two months premature, he has endured many challenges throughout his life.

“But I never let that hold me back. I’m the type of guy who doesn’t give up or take no for an answer. I strive to be the best I can be.”

Now that he has graduated from RCC, Nick is considering moving out of the area to pursue a degree in psychology. He’s always had an interest in the human mind, and would eventually like to become a counselor so he could help others.

Nick has overcome numerous obstacles throughout his life, and wants to find a way to provide hope for others who may be struggling.

“Don’t give up. Life is difficult, but always look for the good,” he said. “You might not be able to do everything that you want to do, but there’s always something you can do to improve the lives of others.”