A headshot of Jonathan MontanoJonathan Montano has dedicated his life to serving others. When the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks happened just months after he graduated from Taos High School in New Mexico, Montano joined the Air Force.

“I felt a stronger urge to serve my country before I did any type of college education,” he said.

Montano became an air commando for Special Operations, helping support search and rescue operations in war zones and after natural disasters, like Hurricane Katrina and the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. He also participated in the largest human evacuation since Vietnam, in Lebanon in 2006, and the biggest supply drop since World War II, 2003’s Operation Joint Guardian in Kosovo.

After living in England for three years when he was in Special Operations and being stationed for three years in Charleston, South Carolina, Montano came out west and focused on his next goal: becoming a nurse. He earned his vocational nursing license, paying off his student loans while working in a psychiatric ward, and started taking classes at San Bernardino Valley College in the summer of 2012. During his time as a student, he was busy both on and off campus.

“I started working at SBVC in the beginning of 2013 as a tutor and supplemental instruction leader for Intro Chemistry and General Chemistry — I love chemistry classes,” Montano said. “I’ve also been filming sermons at Loma Linda University Church and Crosswalk Church for six years.”

Montano assisted both his peers and professors as a WileyPLUS Student Partner. He collaborated with faculty to teach classes on how to use WileyPLUS technology as a study tool, delivering 15 training presentations and leading weekly study sessions. Montano also spoke in front of 400 people at a sales presentation in Dana Point and 800 more at a Wiley summit in Scottsdale, and in August, will give another speech at a symposium in Hoboken. His outstanding work as a student partner resulted in Montano receiving the WileyPLUS Student Partner of the Year Award this spring.

“I was very happy to be chosen for the WileyPLUS Student Partner of the Year Award because it helped me help lots of students along the way,” he said.

Montano is graduating from SBVC this summer with a 3.989 GPA and a degree in social and behavioral sciences and a second degree in biological and physical sciences. He is now off to Loma Linda University, with a full ride, to receive his bachelor of science in nursing degree.

“My goal is to eventually, after working in the ER, ICU, and surgery departments, continue school to become a certified registered nurse anesthetist,” Montano said. “My other goal is to someday get my doctorate in nursing so that I can teach other nurses, especially in seminars.”