Young Alumnus Achievement Award
Honors an alumnus' significant contributions to church, vocation, and community.
Jonathan M. Young '91
Jonathan Young came to the College after sustaining a spinal cord injury during a high school wrestling match. But being partially disabled didn't stop him. In addition to being an excellent student, Jonathan served in a variety of positions during his college career, including a term as president of the Messiah College Student Association.
Upon graduating from Messiah in 1991, he continued his education at the University of North Carolina, returning briefly to Grantham as an adjunct history professor several years ago. Today, as the Associate Director for Disability Outreach in the White House Office of Public Liaison - the first person with a disability to hold this position - Jonathan serves as a connector and advocate between the disability community at large and the White House. Prior to this role, he served as project director for the distinguished National Rehabilitation Hospital Research Center in Washington, DC, where he researched and wrote a history of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Jonathan's faith, tenacity, and hard work have earned him respect and recognition from his peers, his professors, and those in national government. In addition to being honored with the 1987 Victory of Human Spirit Award, he was recognized by former President Ronald Reagan and the Washington Post for his courage and persistence. This past January, Jonathan was honored by the United States Junior Chamber of Commerce as one of Ten Outstanding Young Americans, sharing this award with notable past presidents, celebrities, and entertainers.
Jonathan's vision for helping the disability community through his vocation fits well with Messiah's mission, and, clearly, with God's heart for the world. Indeed, his commitment is exemplary to the sons and daughters of Messiah College, both past and future.