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Alumni and Friends Making an Impact

The Road to the Right Career

Jake Hostetler ’22 started at Staples in 2009 and worked his way into the district manager training program. But success came with a price. “I was traveling and working 60 to 70 hours a week … every weekend, every holiday,” he said.  

The birth of his daughter Riley in 2017 helped prompt a reevaluation. “I want the same kind of relationship I had with my father. He was involved, never missing my games. During Riley’s first year, I barely saw her.” 

After talking with his wife, he decided to change careers — and go back to college.

Hostetler originally went to Bowling Green State University in 2007. Two years later, after he found out his father had lung cancer, he withdrew. “I had mental health and addiction issues,” he said. “Then, after my dad’s diagnosis, the bottom dropped out.”

He doesn’t regret this path though. “I was young and made mistakes, but got help. And I really grew up working at Staples.”

Leaving school also put him closer to home — and his dad. “He was given six months to live and fought for over two years,” Hostetler said. “At the end, he was determined to make it to July 4 to ‘go out with a bang.’ He died at 12:05 a.m., right after the fireworks.”

Hostetler started at Sinclair Community College in 2019, in hopes of becoming a middle childhood teacher, specifically an intervention specialist. He transferred to UD through the UD Sinclair Academy, a donor-supported program that provides an affordable path to UD for exemplary Sinclair students. 

At UD, he also received the Osher Reentry Scholarship, which assists older students reentering college. The Bernard Osher Foundation provided the award to 10 students in academic year 2020–21, all of whom excelled at UD. 

“Programs that help nontraditional students come back in a financially responsible way make a difference,” said Hostetler.

He will start student-teaching in Miamisburg, Ohio — where he lives — in fall of 2021, with plans for a spring graduation. His family has expanded to four, and he looks forward to teaching in the district his daughters will attend. 

“I’m doing this for me and my family, but also for my dad,” Hostetler said. “He would be proud.” 

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