James Hoselton, 55, of Apache Junction, seems surprised that he is being honored with so many awards as he graduates this month. After enrolling in college in his 50s, with only a ninth grade education, he suffered a back injury from a car accident which caused him to miss a month of classes. He now uses a cane and still has some pain.
“The professors were kind enough to let me catch up, after missing a month of classes,” Hoselton said. “It’s challenging, I have pain, but I just work around it. I don’t believe in pity. I believe you just carry on. My injury just put me on a different path.”
He said he has always had excellent work habits. Those habits have paid off. In May, he is receiving two associate degrees, a Red Mountain Summit Student Leadership Award and graduating with High Distinction.
“I’ve been working all my life,” Hoselton said. “To finish my degree, I just applied the same hard work principles that I learned in the workforce.”
Hoselton worked in construction for many years. Several years ago, he realized he was lacking in certain technology skills. He enrolled in the Construction Management Program and completed most of his coursework at MCC’s Red Mountain Campus. While on campus, Hoselton was involved in Phi Theta Kappa and the Honors Program.
He admits he struggled with math classes, but he knew where to turn for help. He credits Red Mountain math tutor Alan Sheffield for pulling him through.
“He was my mentor,” Hoselton said. “If not for him, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”
Hoselton is the first one in his family to attend college. He plans to transfer to Arizona State University to complete a bachelor’s degree in Construction Management.
His advice to others: “Treat it like a job. You’re only as good as your last job. And stay persistent.”