Josh Malone - Associate in Science; Arizona General Education Curriculum
When Mesa Community College student Josh Malone was diagnosed with a learning disability, he never dreamed he’d be able to succeed in college-level honors classes such as calculus, chemistry and biology. But thanks to his determination, coupled with assistance from MCC professors, tutors and peers, he will graduate in May with a nearly 4.0 grade-point average and a solid plan to complete a bachelor’s degree and doctorate in the field of physical therapy/ kinesiology.
Malone, 21, said in elementary school, teachers put him aside and worked with students who achieved higher grades. He didn't feel confident and doubted himself.
“But Mesa Community College changed my life,” Malone said. “Some classes I had to start from the very beginning, like math, but everything that I was learning I just instantly understood. That's when it hit me that I had the potential to take college classes and I have never given up.”
He said that along the way, other students, several tutors, professors and counselors at MCC Red Mountain helped him, including John Onacki, Jennifer Wood, Tara Jones, Coach Rick Moreno, and Bev Maxton.
“They gave me hope, inspiration and the knowledge that I can achieve anything that I put my heart and mind to,” Malone said. “In life, you're always going to be judged and people are going to try to put you down, but you can't give up on yourself. I never did and where I am at now just changes everything.”
In addition to his academic success, Malone served as a Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society operations officer, a tutor at Sunshine Acres Children’s Home and has been the recipient of a Honors Program scholarship each semester. He said the volunteer work at Sunshine Acres has helped him develop his communication skills. He chose kinesiology, the study of the human body and biomechanics, because he enjoys fitness and wants to help others.
“I have a long journey ahead of me,” Malone said, “but I felt like I went through the toughest part of school so far and that's just believing in yourself in knowing that you can do it if you put in a lot of time and effort. I put in so much effort into every class I took and already have the motivation and determination to go further and beyond.”