Lorain County Community College student Nick Flor Johansen aims to achieve what he describes as the American dream. After losing both of his parents, the Denmark native knows there is nothing that can stop him from achieving his ultimate goal of a software development career after moving to the U.S. just a few short years ago.
Johansen, 27, is graduating from LCCC with an associate degree in applied business in software development and an associate of applied business in web development. He has plans to continue on with the University of Akron through the University Partnership to earn a bachelor of science in software development.
Johansen grew up on Fyn island in Gislev, a small town, that is a lot different than Sheffield Village where he resides today. He first visited the Cleveland area in 2010 and fell in love. His father had spent time in Cleveland in the 1980s and eventually moved there, he said. While visiting with his father and future step-mother he decided to make the move. He relocated to Cleveland in 2011 and enrolled at LCCC that fall.
Losing both his parents before 30 was tough, Johansen said. He got through his hardships with the help of his girlfriend, stepmom and other family members. “Dad always said no matter what, find a way to survive. Don’t settle and always fight,” he said.
“Since the day I started at LCCC I felt at home,” Johansen said. The Foundation Scholarship recipient worked in the Marketplace kitchen for his first two years at the college and additionally worked at the Spitzer Conference Center on campus as a chef assistant. Since 2013 he’s worked at the campus bookstore became a certified Apple product professional.
Johansen said he chose LCCC for its reputation of affordability and high quality instructors. “LCCC has helped me in so many ways. First of all, as a person, I have become much more mature. I have learned how to be more myself,” Johansen said. “Another thing is that I learned how to interact with other people. Working in the bookstore has been the greatest experience for me.”
He also works at Hyland Software in Westlake as a software development test technician intern. He chose computer science because he grew up around computers since his father worked in database administration. “It comes as a second nature for me to be around computers and technology,” he said.
Johansen attributes some of his success to the computer information systems professors. They offer “their passion for teaching and making sure that you get the help you need together with fantastic guidance,” he said. “Professor Mike Zellers has single-handedly been the best professor any student could ask for.”
The soon-to-be graduate wants to show his appreciation to LCCC staff and faculty who supported him throughout his journey: Paul Quentin, Patty Clark, Lisa Hearn, Ray Carbonell and everyone at the Lorain Community College Foundation. “These individuals have shown tremendous support and always been there for me,” he said.
Johansen explained, “Last year my father passed away, and my life will never be the same. But if it wasn’t for the dedication and the passion that LCCC has for their students, I would not be graduating.”