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November 12, 2019

New Foundation Board member knows how it feels to flame out and be rekindled at JCCC.

Determination, grit and his grandfather’s sage advice turned JCCC Foundation Board member Vince Morris into a perpetual student, financial expert and an avid supporter of JCCC.

“My grandfather would always say to me that no one can take an education away from you,” Morris says. “That stuck with me and drove me to complete my education and dedicate my life to being a student.”

Morris, President of Bukaty Companies Financial Services, hears the testimonies and reads about JCCC students who overcome monumental and sometimes bleak circumstances to achieve extraordinary success. Even though his nameplate at work reads “President,” Morris can empathize with the struggles of launching into a career. He has his own story to tell.

Restart at JCCC

Morris enrolled at Kansas State University to pursue a degree in electrical engineering. Like many, he became overwhelmed by class sizes and distractions related to Greek life and social circles. “After two years, I came to realize that engineering probably wasn't going to work out for me,” he says.

"I was so happy at JCCC. As a student I had more resources for learning at my speed and fewer distractions." – Vince Morris, President of Bukaty Companies

When he left K-State he had nothing – no place to live, no savings, no job. He returned to Overland Park, found work and started contemplating plan B. He bunked with friends until he could afford an apartment. At age 19, having tried college but not succeeding, he wasn’t sure what to do next. He wanted to create opportunities for later in life, so he enrolled at JCCC and worked a part-time job.

“I was so happy at JCCC. As a student I had more resources for learning at my speed and fewer distractions,” Morris says.

From zero to helping raise millions

Morris remembers all too well how strenuous it was paying for college, working and finding time to study.

“Even though I was determined and made it happen, others may not be able to overcome financial struggles and balance life,” he says. “I love the scholarship program because it can help give students a chance to build a rewarding career for themselves.”

Morris believes in corporate social responsibility and he walks his talk. He has staked his career on making a difference in people’s financial lives. Serving on the Foundation’s fundraising committee gives him an opportunity to pay forward the education he gained at JCCC and encourage students to press on.

“I believe that JCCC makes our community better for employers like me,” he says. “The College helps the community have a better-prepared workforce to meet the challenges of tomorrow.”

Building a strong Foundation

Longtime Foundation Board member Pam Popp recognized Morris’ enthusiasm and passion for the College, so she recommended he be added to the Board. Morris looks forward to being an ambassador for the College through his Foundation role.

“I would like to meet other community members who believe that JCCC is an integral part of our community,” he says. “I want to introduce other business leaders to the College and the great resource that it is.”

Funds raise communities

Want to give a student a boost? Your tax-free scholarship donation can change the lives of JCCC students and quite possibly produce a future leader.