Congratulations to Independence Center Employment Specialist Jonathan Long who was awarded the 2017 Illinois Governor’s Volunteer Award for his exemplary service to the Illinois community.
“I was surprised and honored. Service is important because there are a lot of issues in the community that need to be addressed. It’s important for people within their own community to step up and be leaders.”
Jonathan graduated from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) in 2011 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology and completed his Master of Arts program in Sociology at SIUE in 2014.
After college he stayed dedicated to his community by volunteering and joining various professional organizations. Currently, Jonathan is a member of the St. Louis Urban League Young Professionals, Independence Center Young Professionals, the National Association of African Americans in Human Resources- St. Louis Chapter, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People- Edwardsville, IL Branch #3014 and the National Black MBA Association – St. Louis chapter.
“I always thought I wanted to be a professor, but my time of service and volunteerism solidified that I wanted to be part of the action. I now work as an employment specialist to help adults with severe and persistent mental illness find purposeful and gainful employment so they may live in the community, independently and with dignity.”
Jonathan was nominated for his incredible impact on the Edwardsville, Glen Carbon, and SIUE community with the support of the local NAACP for initiatives such as community town halls with Madison County police, facilitation of ACT prep courses for area youth, resume/job readiness workshops, and other numerous efforts.