John Jast is a proud Give Back alum and graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. After earning his BS/MS from UIUC in 2011, Jast went on to work for Zimmer, an orthopedics company in northern Indiana. Now residing in the small farm town of Morrow, Ohio, Jast and his wife are kept busy raising their eight children, 40 chickens, 15 turkeys, five hogs, five guinea pigs, seven goats, and ‘an embarrassing number of barn cats.’ Jast spends his days as the Technical Lead for Ethicon, working in the Metals Component Development group.
Moving just outside of Cincinnati to Morrow was motivated by the family’s desire to acquire more land and start their small hobby farm.
“We also wanted our children to spend time outside making forts, climbing trees, getting dirty, and using their imaginations, like we did when we were kids,” Jast said.
Jast spoke on his memory of receiving the Give Back scholarship, remarking that it felt as if Founder Bob Carr was investing in him as a person. This idea is reflected in the continuous gatherings Carr hosts for alumni, coupled with his desire to stay in touch with each scholar and see how they have evolved over time.
“It wasn’t only a ‘here is a monetary grant’ type of thing, it had a different, deeper aspect of ‘I believe in you and see potential in you, and I want to be a part of it,” Jast said in regards to Carr’s generosity. “It takes an unbelievably selfless and committed individual to be able to do that.”
Now a hardworking and dedicated father, Jast and his wife have tried to give back through adoption. They have adopted five of their children, one domestically and four internationally, from Ukraine. All five children have special needs of varying degrees, but John remarks they ‘are one happy family.’