Keia Jones

Keia Jones - Scholarship Winner
Ms. Jones meeting with attorneys Jay Tronfeld, David Durrett and Kelly Martin.

Name: Keia Jones

Currently Enrolled (2017): Virginia State University

Essay: My name is Keia Jones. I have a dual major in Economics and Agriculture Business. Before I got to college, I did not have a life plan set out for myself. As I proceeded to complete coursework, I became more curious about how that work would impact my everyday life in the future. I first had to think about what I wanted to be or be known for in the future. I thought of vague career characteristics like help people and travel the world. However, I did not think of ways that I could accomplish those aspirations. From that point, I understood what I wanted to do, but did not yet have a name for it, or a plan of action to take to get there.

This year I have gained several new mentors. I think that this had an impact on shaping my perspective about the journey of life, and the roads I can take to reach my goals. I told one of my mentors that I see myself in public service after I graduate college. I am currently involved in a few community service organizations on campus, and I thought that that would give me the experience to work well with people, especially those who are less fortunate. My mentor decided to recommend that I consider the field of Agricultural Law. This was a new concept for me. I had to do some reflection on my skills and see if this would be a good fit for me. While participating in community service, I have experienced how farmers serve as the backbone of our society. We as humans need food every day, several times a day. So, farmers are the people who are tasked with providing that food. Then again, who is there to make sure that what we are eating is healthy for us? What measures do we put in place to protect farmers? Being involved in Agriculture Law will help me aid both farmers, and consumers.

In the next five years, I would like to have a degree in Agricultural Law. In the next ten years, I would like to own a home and have a career that involves helping people on a personal level. In the next twenty years, I would like to begin teaching at the high school level and later at the collegiate level. I believe that I can start working towards these goals by being aware of the contributions that I make now to society. I am mindful that change is gradual. Creating and innovating takes responsiveness to an environment. If I want to improve myself, I need to be consistently attentive to what I am trying to fix, and what skills I would like to have. With that, being well educated in my field is my first step to completing my goal. I strive to understand the applications of what I am learning. I believe that every program of study is related, so understanding applications of mine will help me understand the purpose of others. Applying what I have learned in agriculture and business courses will help me adapt to the field of Agricultural Law. This came about because of a class in agricultural policy. The legislation and regulations I reviewed interested me, and I wanted to be more involved in that process. This summer I will be working in Washington D.C. in the Legislative Office for the United States Department of Agriculture. I hope that this experience will give me extra experience and will guide my interest further into law. I am also currently substitute teaching for Petersburg City Schools, and Fairfax County Public Schools when I go home. I think that my interest in teaching younger students came about after volunteering with elementary school students. These are all experiences that will help me reach the goals that I set for myself.

College is an experience that many people look back and admire their time spent. I intend to use my time in college to advance my skills as rapidly as I can. I know that once I leave college, I will be tested on my skills every day. I would like to grow as a person each year, so that I can look back and see the difference in myself from the previous year. I would like to learn what makes me unique, and how I can use that to my advantage. I believe that interaction with other people may help or harm my progression. Working with other people well is a skill. Disregarding antagonistic and negative comments and thoughts is another skill. Both skills are necessary to overcoming challenges in college. Gaining these skills only comes with practice.

I believe that the Tronfeld West & Durrett scholarship will allow me to experience the best of what college has to offer. The job market is becoming more global. I believe that understanding other cultures, not only in the United States is imperative to being marketable as a student. This scholarship would help me feel validated beyond the small community and will encourage me to keep advancing in my projects, even when they get hard.