Guest speaker, Adrian Jones. (Henry Rubey’22/Media)
On Wednesday, November 13, Columbus Academy students gathered on the Dining Hall’s fireside to hear Adrian Jones and his leadership story.
Nicknamed “Stuff” by family and friends, Jones recounted his life as a troubled youth involved in gangs, violence, and drugs, spending a number of years in prison or the criminal justice system.
After realizing the negative consequences of his choices, Jones transformed himself from a high school dropout to the first college graduate in his family, earning a degree in social work from The Ohio State University, graduating Summa Cum Laude.
Jones emphasized how it was his leadership in a gang that caused pain and death to those around him.
But his past no longer defines him.
After making a better life for himself, Jones could not let go of that leadership quality and instead used it for good, working as a Violence Intervention Specialist to provide positive examples and mentorship to youths in gangs.
Looking out at the audience of CA students, he told us to recognize our privilege and the endless opportunities for success that constantly surround us. Jones explained that it is not a crime to be privileged, but it is what we do with our resources that define us: will we choose to stay in the status quo or use what we have to make a change?