For the Love of Learning: Meet 2024 PNW graduate Jonathan Del Real

April 26, 2024
Spring 2024 PNW graduate Jonathan Del Real.

Jonathan Del Real, ‘24, has loved school since kindergarten. That love led him to earn a bachelor of arts degree in Foreign Language: Spanish with a concentration in Teaching from the College of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences at Purdue University Northwest (PNW).

Growing up, Del Real loved learning and school, had a profound interest in language, specifically Spanish, and enjoyed helping others learn. It wasn’t until his last two years in high school that he put all the pieces together and realized he wanted a career as a Spanish teacher.

As a member of PNW’s Honors College, Del Real spent time participating in and volunteering for events and activities, including working at the university’s Food Pantry. He was a teaching assistant for Herlinda Ramírez-Barradas, professor of Spanish at PNW, and recently had the opportunity to study abroad in Cáceres, Spain. In addition, he was a member of the Unidos Club and the Spanish Club.

The Munster native has presented at PNW’s Days of Discovery the last three years. He presented his research projects titled Gabriela Mistral: Her Life’s Biggest Secret in 2022, Living Life with Down Syndrome in 2023 and The Llorona Legend in the Northwest Indiana Region in 2024.

Del Real did his last semester of student teaching at East Chicago High School and after graduation is hoping to be hired by the school as a Spanish teacher. As for the future, he would eventually like to teach at his former high school, Munster High School, helping students grow as young adults and making the same impact in their lives that his teachers made in his.

What do you like most about PNW?

“Aside from the great professors and interesting courses, it’s definitely how welcoming, vibrant and exciting the campus feels. I love the inclusivity, the environment, and I feel like I truly belong at PNW. PNW is everything I could ask for and possibly more.”

How do you think your involvement in campus organizations and activities helped define your success at PNW?

“Everything I’ve done in the last four years has molded and shaped me into the future educator I’m going to be. Many of those experiences I’ll be able to use as personal examples when teaching a lesson, or to connect with students. Studying in Spain helped me expand on my Spanish vocabulary and gave me an unforgettable opportunity of a lifetime!”

I love the inclusivity, the environment, and I feel like I truly belong at PNW. PNW is everything I could ask for and possibly more.

Jonathan Del Real, ‘24, Foreign Language: Spanish

Did you face any challenges while attending PNW?

“I started PNW during the pandemic and classes were online. For me, I don’t learn well having class online – I just don’t get as much learning experience from it as I do from in-person classes. So, that was a big challenge for me. It made me second guess if I wanted to stay in college. But, something inside me kept saying it will be worth it and I guess that little voice was right because here I am!”

What words of advice would you share with prospective students looking to attend PNW?

“Enjoy every little moment. Stay on top of your assignments but also take care of yourself. Enjoy the present, live every moment and say yes to new and exciting events and opportunities – it’s worth it. Don’t stress over deadlines and just know there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel – always!”

Was there anyone at PNW who inspired or encouraged you along the way?

Herlinda Ramirez Barradas

Herlinda Ramírez-Barradas

Professor of Spanish

Kelly Vaughan

Kelly Vaughan

ASSOCIATE Professor of English Education

“These two professors made classes engaging and worthwhile. They’re not typical professors, they go above and beyond and excel in teaching us what is needed to succeed in our future careers. Without them, I wouldn’t be here today.”

Spring 2024 Graduate Candidate Teja Brown

Meet the Spring 2024 Graduates

Discover what inspires our remarkable Spring 2024 graduates—and how they are Powering Onward to their futures.

Read Graduate Stories