Profile of Excellence:
Owens Community College Alumnus
John Byers grew up in Toledo and attended Start High School.
His father owned a construction company and Byers began working there full time while he was still in high school to help support his family. When he graduated from high school in 1975, he continued working for the family business.
In 1995, his entire life changed, when he fell off a roof and broke his back.
"As I laid there waiting for the ambulance, I didn't know how I was going to support my wife and two sons. Construction was all I knew," said Byers.
It took him nearly two years to recover and learn to walk again, but he knew he couldn't go back to the career he had worked at for more than 20 years.
Byers went to the Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation and they suggested he try going back to school. He enrolled at Owens Community College in Applied Business in 1999.
"I was terrified," said Byers. "But thanks to my instructors, I learned to take risks and do the best that I could."
Byers decided to get involved - he ran and was elected into the newly-formed Student Government. He became very involved in College activities - joining Phi Theta Kappa and Kappa Beta Delta Honor Societies, and the Environmental Club.
"At first, I was just interested in earning an income for my family, but as I became more involved, I was captivated by learning," said Byers.
In 2003, he graduated as the Outstanding Graduate in Marketing and Management and was the All USA/State Academic Team Recipient. Byers transferred to Bowling Green State University, where he earned his bachelor's of science degree in 2007 graduating with a 4.0.
In 2005, when Owens Community College offered Byers a newly-created position, Coordinator of Student Activities, he was able to address his passion - getting students involved on campus. Now he is the Manager of Student Involvement and the number of clubs and activities on campus has tripled.
"I am most proud of the cultural shift of involvement at Owens - I am seeing more diversity in students and campus activities," said Byers.
Join Owens Community College's Alumni Association today!
Contact Laura Moore at (567) 661-7410 or firstname.lastname@example.org