For DonorsFor Applicants
user profile avatar

Nik Jones

6825

Bold Points

5x

Nominee

5x

Finalist

1x

Winner

Bio

My life goals are to someday make it to space and impact the business sector in ways that help them not only to become more environmentally friendly and efficient but also innovative. I am most passionate about people and our environment. To me these are the most valuable resources on the planet. I feel that it takes strong ethics, leadership and courage to balance the engineering of business for the future. Growing giant sunflowers and beekeeping are just a few of my hobbies along with community volunteer work. Grounded in my roots, values, traditions with a finger on the pulse of my community has allowed me to thrive.

Education

Hennepin Technical College

Associate's degree program
2022 - 2023
  • Majors:
    • Manufacturing Engineering
  • Minors:
    • Mechatronics, Robotics, and Automation Engineering

Hennepin Technical College

Associate's degree program
2020 - 2022
  • Majors:
    • Business Administration, Management and Operations

Empire Beauty School-Bloomington

Trade School
2010 - 2011
  • Majors:
    • Cosmetology and Related Personal Grooming Services

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

    Bachelor's degree program

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

    • Business Administration, Management and Operations
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Business Engineering

    • Dream career goals:

      My long-term career goal is to work with business to help them achieve market growth while maximizing sustainability and reducing carbon footprint.

    • Men's Tailored- Sales and Alterations

      Macy's Downtown MPLS
      2015 – 20161 year
    • Workroom Lead

      Warren Drapery
      2016 – 20171 year
    • Lead Workroom Designer

      Montgomery's Furniture
      2017 – 20181 year
    • Shipping, Receiving, Embroidery, Heat Press Transfer, Screen Press Operator

      American Ink
      2018 – 20191 year
    • TRIO Student Support Services-Student Work Study Program

      Hennepin Technical College
      2022 – 2022
    • Leather Artisan Seamstress, Manager of Bison Thunder Apparel

      Bison Thunder Motorcycle
      2016 – 20171 year
    • Owner

      LEATHERNIK LIMITED LLC.
      2017 – 20192 years
    • BDM

      Bison Thunder Motorcycle
      2019 – 20212 years

    Sports

    Crossfit

    Intramural
    2022 – 2022

    Awards

    • Extreme Terrain Race Finnisher

    Softball

    Club
    2010 – 20122 years

    Awards

    • Championship

    Cheerleading

    Varsity
    1994 – 19962 years

    Research

    • Botany/Plant Biology

      Institute of Competition Sciences — Lead Researcher
      2023 – 2023
    • Specialized Sales, Merchandising and Marketing Operations

      Bison Thunder Motorcycle — Lead Researcher
      2019 – 2020

    Arts

    • Silent Spark Press

      Poetry
      Exemplary POETRY VOLUME 19
      2023 – 2023
    • Metropolitan Regional Arts Council

      Poetry
      A Place Inspired by Words: Women's Writing Program 3 (C) 2013 Arcata Press ISBN 978-0-9888681-3-7
      2012 – 2013
    • LEATHERNIK LIMITED LLC

      Design
      Yes-series of custom motorcycle seat designs sold for bike builders
      2017 – 2019
    • Hard Times Band

      Music
      live performances only
      2013 – 2016

    Public services

    • Public Service (Politics)

      Phi Theta Kappa — Chapter President
      2022 – 2023
    • Public Service (Politics)

      Hennepin Technical College — Student Senate Committe
      2022 – 2023
    • Public Service (Politics)

      Hennepin Technical College — Student Senate Public Relations Coordinator
      2022 – 2023
    • Volunteering

      Be Bold - Break the Mold -Women in Engineering Mentoring Program — Mentee for the first year to transition into a Mentor
      2022 – Present
    • Volunteering

      Blue Earth Nicollet County Humane Society — Pit-bull Rescue Animal Adoption
      2019 – 2019
    • Volunteering

      Black Hills Humane Society — Volunteer and Adoption of Shelter Rescued Animal
      2012 – 2012
    • Volunteering

      Sunshine Service Dogs — Dog Trainer
      2010 – 2012
    • Advocacy

      2218 ALANO CLUB — Donator, event supporter, member in sobriety
      2019 – Present
    • Volunteering

      IMRG- Indian Motorcycle Riders Group — Member
      2016 – Present
    • Advocacy

      YWCA-Girls RAP Program — Mentor
      2022 – Present
    • Volunteering

      The Patriot Ride — Event Volunteer
      2016 – 2019
    • Advocacy

      Be The Match Foundation — Bone marrow donor and ambassador and speaker
      2012 – 2013
    • Volunteering

      Wreaths Across America — Donator and event volunteer
      2016 – Present
    • Volunteering

      St. Jude Ride for Kids — Event participant and donator
      2022 – 2022
    • Volunteering

      St. Jude Hospital Ride & 5K Run — Event Volunteer, Cheer stand, Donator
      2019 – 2019

    Future Interests

    Advocacy

    Politics

    Volunteering

    Philanthropy

    Entrepreneurship

    #Back2SchoolBold Scholarship
    Back-to-school for me is like pre-season football. Game plan time! SWOT analysis on my classes, time, resources available and overall mission. My best tip is to plan by knowing these things in advance. I print out my syllabus for each class the first day, so I have it available and understand each teachers' expectations. I make sure I make time for my responsibilities, obligations, and my personal time is accounted for in my time management. Knowing my class lists helps me to know points of contacts for classmates and teachers for help and teamwork. Having the colleges schedule for activities, tutoring centers, and other resources ahead of time provides me opportunities for engagement and help exactly when I need it and it saves me time when I am hustling on those deadlines. Reminding myself that my mission is to learn and complete my degree over maintaining my GPA averages not only helps me to destress but also keep everything in balance. End of the day if you have a solid plan, you will succeed. Game Plan Time! leathernik_limited Instagram
    Larry D Parker Sr.’s Legacy Scholarship
    Winner
    It was hard for me to choose a career at first honestly. I worked many trades over the years and began to notice a trend between them that connected to the environment and our changing culture along with global markets. One thing was clear to me, environmental influences greatly affected sustainability. Sitting at my desk inside the Indian Motorcycle Dealership I looked out the window to see my city on fire from the George Floyde riots that were ensuing at the time. Covid had just hit two months prior and between the full city and state lockdowns and business closures our dealership had gone from ten full time employees to three. The general manager, a service tech, and myself the business development manager who handled all sales, service, and finance as well as social media. With the fear of Covid more people chose to buy or ride motorcycles for social distancing and gas savings which meant that supply chain issues would soon be a problem with Polaris closing several plants due to quarantine and other issues. I saw a much bigger problem, however. The dividedness of our country and fear. I am a daughter of the American Revolution and have had family who've fought in every war on U.S. soil and abroad. My ancestry being French-German and Native American. Living in this state I learned the value of community and our natural resources. My family are farmers and tradesmen. We grow or create things in industry. It is the contribution to our community and their needs that we have found our purpose. I am a leather artisan by trade the past twenty years a skilled seamstress and upholsterer. The last five years working in business. I decided while finishing my business degree during Covid that to better serve my community my focus would be in manufacturing engineering. This industry along with agriculture is what I know, and love. It is also an industry that impacts the people and community of my great country the most with our changing environments. Helping businesses through engineering and innovation to become more sustainable while growing U.S. Manufactuing jobs, reducing supply chain issues, increasing job markets, reducing carbon footprint are just a few examples. People that I consider my hero. My father who served in the Army and worked his entire life on a ten color German Heidelburg printing press, he trained me, and I worked three years alongside him. My grandmother who worked on our 100-year-old 280-acre family farm for over 50 years with no formal education. Caring for my grandpas 3 bachelor brothers up until they all passed 20 years after my grandfather passed in a farming accident. Lenard Peltier, a Sioux warrior and one of the original members of AIM. Being wrongfully imprisoned and serving a life sentence still today for initiating changes in systems and beliefs. These people taught me values and loyalty to not only my family but my communities. That through our actions, discipline, and how we choose to see our connection to others that our life's work has a greater purpose. It can change lives even without a formal or traditional education. One thing I would change about the world is the focus. I remember saying the pledge of allegiance in school every morning and praying openly together at community events. We were united on the things that bonded our differences as a people. The past decades the focus has been on what separates us individually from each other rather than unites us. I do not see differences, just my brothers and sisters, and the earth we share.
    Freddie L Brown Sr. Scholarship
    ADHD writing takes you places. Depending what's on the radio, could mess around and start a revolution. Whoa slow down, no need to get ahead of yourself or even the black squirrel out the window. Tempo, here we go. Just feel the rhythm and envision. Each pulse of the strobe lights, tears into my retinas as it keeps dual time between my heartbeat and the baseline. Leaving my mind to transcribe the Morris Code of chords into emotions as I fall prey to the soundwaves. Letting go, freely I am held captive. Music my native language. Like a needle scratch across the record of my life story. Suddenly I am center stage, swaying as one body with the masses. Fists in the air. Long hair don't care is the mantra. A Church for the soul of a nation, with one mic the preacher cites, "Now Testify". We rally around the fire until the growing body swells. Birthing an uncensored revolution between music and a movement. A call to action, mixed, down, slow. Guerilla Music. It's somewhere between black squirrels and what's on the radio when I free write. The beauty of ADHD is the preset tempos and the environment. Talk to me Goose. Where do you want to go next? Tempo, here we go. Just feel the rhythm and envision.
    Gary Sánchez Swing for the Fences Scholarship
    I usually don't look back, unless it's to remind myself of just how far I have come. It takes someone who has been there to understand what looking back can do when you still have a great distance still to go. The end is up ahead, and I have my eyes on the goal in the horizon. All I pray for is understanding and strength for the journey. Being a woman in a man's world is par for course. I understood that being a tomboy by nature and why I just go by Nik. When you look a certain kind of way you are judged either in or out and name is no different. You find ways to get around it. Changing you to fit the environment while you navigate through. Some systems you can fight and some you just have to adapt into. I was raised by a single mother of four. The county DHS found her an unfit parent more often than not and being the oldest girl, it was my job to raise my siblings while she was doing her thing. We moved over 11 times to change county DHS which meant that I went to over 11 different schools by my Jr. year of high school. We lived in battered women's shelters on a few occasions and were placed into separate foster homes and group homes several times as well. All that mattered to me was that we were together and that my siblings were ok. Growing up we lived on food stamps and DHS would bring us to the clothing center aka goodwill for our new school cloths and the church was our Santa Claus. I never compared myself to my classmates as a child or wanted for things that they had as my only wish was for my mom to get better and for my family to just stay together. Neither of my parents went to college so it was never discussed as a child. They were teen parents 19 and 16 when I was born, my brother a year before on the Army base in California. My parents fought and it caused my father not to be in the picture until we were adults. My mom had many boyfriends over the years that took a little too much interest in me and my sisters. That prepared me for the reality of the world. I dropped out of high school my Jr. year and received my GED before my class graduated due to girls bulling me for the way I looked. I understood, when you do not have longevity or history somewhere you become a target for being new. It's not easy even if you are an A student. I understand, some circles you can't break into because of your appearance. Moving to the reservation was hard in a sense that you are surrounded by acceptance yet limited by circumstance. The end and back are far as you can go literally. The culture and tradition are a double edge sword. The suicides, murders, violence, drugs and drinking fueled by per capita. My daughter's father was a Sun Dancer. Good Schield. Shot 9 times and passed at 26 years old from gang violence two months after he proposed to me. I understand, some systems you cannot change alone. My grandfather Arnie worked in the brickyard in town at the time and I remember he would allow people to call him Hispanic because they were thought more highly than Native Americans in our small country town. There was no casino then and his tribe was in Wisconsin. He worked hard though to put food on the table for all of us when we lived with him. I understand family is doing what it takes to get by sometimes. Work, it turns out that I am really great at it. I can't count how many jobs I have had over the years, but I love to work. As a single mom I did everything I could to put food on the table and give my kids the things I did not have growing up. It was not easy, and life threw me curve ball after curve ball. God never let me quit though. I understand being good at just one thing can help you find motivation when all else fails. It took me a while to understand that I could have all the experience in the world at a job and not get promoted though. I would get the great reviews and more responsibility, yet year after year as the only female at my jobs, just not the promotion. Hearing don't go back to school, stay on and after another year or so I will write you a letter of recommendation to anywhere and here's a small pay bump. Understanding, get that degree. Going back to college as an adult was a hard choice. I never liked school and always full time. It is where I found my purpose and self-esteem as well as financial security. I started slow working fulltime and going to school full time. I made the presidents list all semesters which I had no idea even existed. After my first year my grandmother fell, and mom had surgeries, I had to choose work and family or school and family. I chose school and family. Understanding, end of the day, sometimes you have to take the road less traveled at times. All-State Academic Team 2021-2022 was not on my list of goals but when I was nominated to the team this year I was honored. My list consists of selling my Daddy's 71 Lincoln Mark iii I received when he passed from cancer to pay for another semester. He would rather I finished the race I started than looked back to what I gave up. My determination comes from him. My inspiration to overcome obstacles has been a lifelong lesson from those I love who fought the good fight and passed me the torch.
    Karl Baehr Entrepreneurs Scholarship
    Leather Nik simply is just what customers called me. Working in my studio located inside of a local Indian Motorcycle dealership on the second floor I thought why not, name my new business just that. I had been working as an independent contractor for the dealership along with managing their own line of apparel at the time. As a new dealership they wanted to offer something different for their customers by having a full-time leather artisan on site for their leather needs. It was a good business strategy for them as my services brought motorcycle clubs from all over the tri-state area for patches and motorcycle seat work. This allowed them the opportunity upsell them on service or even better trade to an Indian motorcycle. Word of mouth travels fast especially in the motorcycle industry. Most clubs are your local Fire Department members, American Legion members, Patriot Guard riders, Combat Vet riders, local riders' groups etc. Before I knew it, I had contracts with the clubs for better rates and brought the clubs to hold regular meetings at the dealership. It grew fast and over the next year the number of women riders doubled. The irony is I have been sewing over 20 years. From my own clothing to working in professional work rooms for custom drapery and upholstery. It was only natural that I would grow my skillset and subject matter expertise to leather. The motorcycle industry however seems to not address the changing demographics of riders when it comes to apparel. Riding jackets, vests and chaps are made to fit men primarily and nonstandard sizes. This is where I saw my opportunity. While having yet another discussion with the dealership owner after Polaris corporate has contracted me for a second contract job and this time national about my independent contractor payment plan and wanting to create my own line of apparel, I made the decision. LEATHERNIK LIMITED LLC. The beauty of it is that I had the clientele, the reputation, and as a service I did not need overhead of brick and mortar. My new custom leather sewing machine was the biggest expense at 7K. I was able to work with businesses once licensed to buy supplies at discount and when ordering leather for customers they prepaid on supplies and paid labor upon receipt. This saved me from having to purchase bulk supplies and out of pocket expense while passing savings to my customers on materials with a discount pricing. My customer base grew to cover all 50 states as I took shipments by mail as well. Motorcycle riders do not trust just anybody with their leathers and seats. What surprised me most is the lengths that people would go to bring me their projects and the lack of other skilled workers who could do what I was doing in the market. I could set my own prices, and no one complained. Working with leather is not easy. It's heavy, hard and there is almost no room for error. One wrong needle hole and it's there forever. Leather is skin, it has to be treated and cared for overtime as it stretches. Why am I passionate about this some might wonder. I would have to say it is the creativity aspect of what I do from the stitch designs to custom fabrication and the people. One customer brought me his patches from his military uniform to sew on his leather vest. Almost ashamed asking if I would sew it on. I looked, Vietnam. I just hugged him and said it would be my honor, he cried. Never Forget.