Updates from Johnson County Community College: One student’s journey from JCCC to business owner and mentor

Nabil Cherif, former JCCC student, founded Bridging the Gap Interpreting and is now working with the Career Development Center to assist other students.

After years of traveling the world, Nabil Cherif settled in Kansas City in 2000 to attend JCCC. The Tunisia native explored multiple subjects, from information technology to political science and even culinary classes. His goal was to earn an associate of arts degree while becoming more comfortable with English, French and Arabic languages.

“I was on a journey of exploring,” said Cherif. “Education, applied knowledge and personal growth are guiding forces in my life.”

Following a passion

After graduating from JCCC, Cherif transferred to the University of Kansas. He soon realized that he could combine his language skills, travel experience and cultural knowledge to serve others. In 2007, he established Bridging the Gap Interpreting to connect people across the globe through language services.

Cherif is passionate about helping people communicate effectively across language and cultural barriers. His goal is to make people feel understood, respected and to know they are valued. Today, Bridging the Gap Interpreting maintains an active local network of over 250 interpreters and translators in more than 100 languages.

Lifelong Cavalier

When faced with an open position at Bridging the Gap Interpreting, Cherif reached out to Leslie Washington, Coordinator of Intern and Employment Relations at JCCC’s Career Development Center, who offered ways for him to mentor students through a job shadowing program.

“We connected over the phone and he began to tell me his story of how JCCC helped him acquire his degree and start his path as a business owner,” she said. “Nabil was passionate about his desire to pay it forward and help other JCCC students.”

“There’s an incredible sense of satisfaction to see someone’s mind and eyes open to new information and the practical use of it,” he said.

Richard Morehouse, an associate of Cherif’s, believes everyone can benefit from his friend’s mentorship.

“In my opinion, Nabil is an excellent example of how JCCC can take the best of a person’s strengths and help them develop into leaders. The most significant aspect of Nabil that I have seen is his generosity of spirit,” Morehouse said. “I am amazed by his abilities to connect with others, which is why I believe he is such a good mentor.”

Cherif was able to apply his JCCC education and career knowledge to mentor the next generation of interpreters. To him, JCCC is more than a college; it’s a network of opportunity.

“I am so grateful for the JCCC experience,” he said. “I will always love this school.”

Take the next step

JCCC can help turn your passion into a lifelong career. Take the next step and explore our enrollment process. It’s quick, easy and there’s no application fee!