Nathan Norman

Nathan Norman ’18
In Evanston, Illinois—a city with a budding population size, tight-knit community and engaged community members—Distinguished Alumni Honoree ’23, Nathan Norman inspires transformation through leadership. Nathan credits his former manager and many of his Oakton professors for inspiring him to continue his education—something that compels him to give back today.

A Solid Educational Foundation
The encouragement Nathan received moved him to explore his interests and motivated him to uplift others to do the same.

“My manager would encourage me to go back to school. In my annual evaluations he would tell me I possessed agency and if I went back I would be able to break through any ceiling that was over my head. Had it not been for those crucial conversations that cultivated a spirit of willingness in me I wouldn’t have taken that step to pursue my educational journey at Oakton. The professors at Oakton cared beyond just the coursework. I feel indebted, with gratitude, and I feel empowered to build a chain and do the same for other people.”

Curiosity Sparks Transformation
The associate degree in liberal arts that Nathan received from Oakton allowed him to explore many academic interests and hone in on what he wanted to study once he transferred to a four-year institution.

“Oakton was the impetus for me to fall back in love with education. The stage was set for me to explore academically. At the time I was working in the Youth and Young Adult Division at the City of Evanston and I myself had experienced adverse childhood experiences growing up. When I transferred to Northeastern Illinois University I studied Child Advocacy. This has not only helped me develop the individuals I work with but also helped cultivate my relationship with my children. My curiosity was piqued again when I realized I wanted to know more about factors that make a negative impact on communities. I pursued a master’s degree in Public Policy and Administration at Northwestern University because I wanted to shape policy and do my part to advance the interest of the public.”

Reaching Back to Uplift Others
As the City of Evanston's Workforce Development Manager, Nathan helps young adults find success by providing reentry support and wrap-around services to individuals looking for employment and apprenticeship opportunities. His journey is an inspiring example of the incredible impact one person can have on their community.

“Oakton was a launching pad. Because I went to Oakton I was able to become academically prepared and use my platform to make a positive impact on others. This is why I am proud to serve as a mentor for Oakton’s Emory WIlliams Academy for Black Men. It is another way I am able to help the community and connect individuals to a program that is needed.