Jose(left), Jonathan, and his mother at his high school graduation in 2009.

Many children of union members follow in their parents’ footsteps into a similar career path. At National Labor College (NLC) we have helped numerous union family members follow their dreams by earning a college degree. For the first time, we can proudly say that a son will soon follow his father’s path of earning a degree at NLC.

Meet Ironworker Jose Alberto Naranjo and his son Jonathon Naranjo! When classes start Tuesday, September 3, 2013, Jonathan begins a journey he watched his father complete seven years ago. Jose earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Labor Education in 2006, and is currently a Structural Steel Superintendent.

“My desire to sharpen my skills and be able to share the knowledge that I learned so I can improve the quality of life for our membership and coworkers was my motivation. NLC offered a flexible program for working families. Being able to take courses online and work along with fellow union members from different crafts was great,” said Jose.

That experience was not lost on Jonathan. This fall he begins his pursuit of a Bachelor of Science in Emergency Readiness and Response Management.

“My father went to NLC and he recommended it, and I loved it after researching the school. It’s very important to finish my higher education to receive the job I want so I can have a successful career,” said Jonathan.

He knows the journey will not be easy and will require a lot of time and patience but he also knows he has unending support from his family.

Jonathan is also grateful to the District Council of Ironworkers who helped make this possible with the scholarships they provide to members’ children.

Since growing up all I can remember is how the union helped provide for our family and how much it helped us toward the future with schooling and work.