Daniel Matison is one busy, resourceful, responsible, and energetic young man. After graduating high school, the New Kent County resident took a year off to work in the restaurant industry. Now, as a student at Thomas Nelson Community College he is bartending to finance his education. “It’s a tough schedule,” Daniel admits, “but I’m determined to do well.”
Daniel says TNCC was the right choice for him. The oldest of six siblings, he wanted to stay close to home and help his mother with his younger siblings, especially after she had to return to work. Before that she home schooled the oldest kids for their three years of middle school. “She really put me through the paces in math,” says Daniel. I guess that’s what you get when your mom is an electrical engineer, but I’m really good at math–it prepared me well.”
Daniel doesn’t hesitate to tell his personal story with legislators. He explains how important community college has been for him. “With a large family money is tight, so if it wasn’t for TNCC I probably wouldn’t be in college.” He also says his TNCC experience has helped him to grow by leaps and bounds, giving him time to become more directed.
Working toward a degree in business administration at TNCC, Daniel’s goal is to pursue a degree in international relations at William and Mary. In preparation, he is taking a course this semester in political science. “The class and the professor are so interesting and completely engaging,” he exclaims.
One goal Daniel has is to join the Peace Corps and travel around the world sharing his skills and knowledge. He loves to meet people from different countries. A serving job at a resort in the Williamsburg area gave him a glimpse of that with exposure to international tourists and foreign student who are employed through work-study programs. “I love talking to people–asking them about their life and culture.” he says. “That’s where and how I met my wife. She was a work-study student from Thailand.” Daniel further explains how they carried on a long distance relationship for awhile, It was a great experience to be able to visit her and travel to Thailand. “I had $350 for the month, but through the generosity of her family and friends, it was enough. They are wonderful people.”
Another international experience Daniel had was during a missionary trip to the Ukraine when he was 15, serving at an orphanage. He says it was a memorable and moving experience for his group. “It was something to know we were giving the kids only the second shirt they had ever had in their lives. You walk away realizing and telling yourself, “I have a really nice life.”
Posted by Carol Kyber