“That is when I discovered the calling to make a difference and impact others in a positive way,” Jones said.
The New Castle native chose to attend Indiana University East following his high school graduation. In particular, he decided to take his courses at the Danielson Learning Center because of its convenient location close to home.
“I was able to basically take all of my elective and general classes there without going to the main campus. I was able to schedule classes around my work schedule,” Jones said. “I loved my Monday all day social work classes. Basically ate all three meals there while taking classes. You really got to build a relationship with the other classmates in the social work program.”
Two faculty members that really had an effect on Jones were Shelia Armstead and Ed Fitzgerald. Jones said both Armstead and Fitzgerald encouraged their students “to think outside of the box and take the limits off of situations.”
In 2008, Jones graduated with his Bachelor of Social Work degree. He is now a state certified state case manager and works from his hometown as a case manager for the Indiana Professional Management Group. As a case manager, Jones is responsible for managing individuals on the Medicaid Wavier program. He ensures that program participants receive services including residential placements, therapy and treatment.
In addition to his full-time job, Jones is vice president of the IU East Alumni Association Board. He first joined the board as a new graduate in 2008. He participates in several of the events hosted by the board including Red Wolf dinners, connecting alumni with current students, IU East Alumni Night at New Boswell Brewery, and IU East’s Commencement Ceremony. Jones said being present to hand the graduates their diplomas is a good memory for him because he sees to see excitement of the graduating class, and their excitement to start their career, is priceless.
Jones said that the experience he had while a student at the Danielson Center, is one that has continued to influence his life today.
“Every semester was a surprise. Each one brought new challenges. I got to discover how strong of a person I was,” Jones said. “I was able to grow into my own skin and learn how to see the bigger picture in everyday life situations.”