Paying it Forward - 2009 Profiles

Jim Crews

Alumnus - Buckley, Washington

If there is one thing Jim Crews has learned in his life, it’s that it’s never too late to go back to school. Jim has always had an entrepreneurial spirit but he especially needed that tenacity when his truck driving career came to an end. He suffered an injury and needed to get back to school to move forward. He started at a community college and then transitioned to University of Phoenix where he learned how to turn problems into solutions and opportunities. Jim advanced to a high level sales and marketing position and is now working closely with Shalon, his nominee and daughter, to open a business. What’s more, he didn’t just earn a bachelor’s degree. He has a master’s under his belt, too.

Shalon Van Hoof

Recipient - Buckley, Washington

If you asked Shalon, she’d probably say one of the most important things she has learned from her father Jim is determination and hard work. She suffered from depression at an early age but she earned her GED and graduated from a dental assistant program. Like most parents, she put her child first leaving little financial flexibility for education. She dreams of owning her own business but knows she needs to complete her education to realize it.

Working in her current position she has made multiple recommendations for process improvements and from this level of thinking she has ascertained that owning and operating a business is the next step in her personal and professional growth. Like her father, she doesn’t want to stop at a bachelor’s degree. She’ll be earning an MBA as well.

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