Center Spotlight: Fredrick Jones

Frederick_Jones_web.jpg

 Fredrick Jones

 Major: Social Science

 Year: Senior

 Hometown: Miami

 Age: 21

God. Family. School. Leadership Studies Certificate student Fredrick Jones lives by these three values.

Growing up in a household where he saw both of his parents passionate about their work, Jones developed an appreciation for leadership and education.

As he finished up the last class of the Undergraduate Certificate in Leadership Studies, Leadership and Complexity, Jones recalled how it all began his freshman year.

“After I took one class, I liked it a lot and kept taking more and more,” he said. “Then, I found out about the certificate and decided there was no harm in it. It could only make me better.”

The leadership certificate serves an important role in Jones’ life.

Jones said the program reinforced issues that he already knew about, but it refreshed and gave him a new perspective on them, citing social media use as a prime example.

“I learned how there’s different ways you can use it to inspire others instead of having negative things,” he said. “I learned no matter what you just have to sell your brand.”

Jones takes the lessons he learns and applies them to his extracurricular activities as a two-sport athlete, playing football and running track & field.

He said that he holds everyone accountable for what they do and makes sure they’re upholding their brand and have respect for each other.

“Everyone will not be able to make it the NFL, so I try to push everyone to get their degree,” he said. “One day you will have to hang up football, and what you do after that is important, so I try to motivate people.”

Balancing sports with his academics is something that Jones takes very seriously. He utilizes all his time, studying between classes and when he goes on the road.

“If it’s important to you, you will find a way to do it, and everything is important to me, so I find a way to do it no matter what,” he said.

Volunteering at local Grace Mission Church with underprivileged kids, Jones makes sure to teach them how to build good habits that will roll over into adulthood.

“Usually when I talk to kids, depending on their religion, I tell them to always keep God first. I teach kids never put sports as their God,” he said.

Jones makes sure that people know sports does not define who he is. “It’s just something I do, it’s not my life,” he said.

Post-graduation, Jones will be attending graduate school at Florida State to pursue his masters in International Affairs, where he hopes to use it to help develop underprivileged communities back home in Miami, and eventually in Tallahassee.

“I want to have an influence on people and learn about different cultures around the world and the stuff they go through,” he said.

He hopes to use what he learns to help him adjust his leadership style toward different people to have a bigger impact on their lives. The skills he has learned through the certificate program will be something he takes with him to teach others how leaders come in all shapes and sizes.

“No one should ever feel like their role is too small,” Jones said, “because they still have a voice and people should still listen to you.”

—Fabuola Pierre