Joseph Klos went through a tragedy most people hope to never experience in their lifetime. If it weren’t for the encouragement and support of his friends, family and the SCC community, he might not have graduated with his associate’s degree in 2012.
Joseph was involved in a shooting in Lincoln County on Feb. 9, 2011, a day he will never forget. He was shot nearly a dozen times and his girlfriend was fatally wounded. After the shooting, he couldn’t walk or eat, and he lost 50 pounds. But the silver lining was that his daughter, Chloe, now more than two years old, survived.
“Almost everything I knew about my life changed that night,” Joseph said in an article written by STLtoday.com. “I’m still in the process of overcoming it – obviously it was a very bad situation.”
Fortunately, Joseph had developed several bonds with his professors and tutors at SCC, and some of them visited him while he was in the hospital.
“My SCC professors became more of my peers rather than just mentors,” Joseph said. “I found out that developing those personal relationships with my instructors helped me improve my grades. They took time out of their own schedules to teach me one-on-one.”
Even before the tragedy, Joseph said his professors were always there to help him out and encourage him. “They did everything they could to help me succeed,” he said.
The support he received from his professors was not something he had in high school. “I went through a lot of drama in high school,” he said. “I had an attitude problem, and I didn’t care about getting an education.”
He earned his GED in 2005 after his mom signed him up. “I just got my GED to get people off my back,” Joseph said.
During his first year at SCC, his girlfriend gave birth to their daughter, Chloe. “Having a daughter changed my perspective on life,” Joseph said. “I realized I wanted a career, not just a job, and the only way to do that was to get an education.”
“SCC prepared me well,” he said. “I’m confident in leaving here, but I will miss it. It’s just another page in the book. Everything comes to an end, so I have to take the good from it and go from there.”
Joseph reported in the spring of 2013 that he is studying at Missouri S&T and recently landed a co-op position with a manufacturing company.