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The Philosophies of Trevor Jones ’16

Posted by: andrewst | May 31, 2022 | No Comment |

At the start of our virtual interview, Trevor Jones (‘16) gives me a brief tour of one special wall in his suburban Maryland apartment. “Here’s me with Speaker Nancy Pelosi at the congressional baseball game,” Jones beams as he points to the photograph. “And this one’s with Mr. Dellums, the former mayor of Oakland and the first African-American to chair the Armed Services Committee in Congress.” Immediately I get a sense of the pride he feels ­ about his connections to these icons on his wall and in being asked to do this interview. He’s a humble man with a giving heart: “Growing up, everything for me has always been rooted in service. I’m always looking for ways to make things better.”

Trevor Jones with Rep. Ronald V. Dellums

Jones’ interest in policy took off while studying under Dr. Marguerite Archie-Hudson, a political science professor at CofC and a former member of the California State Legislature. Dr. Archie-Hudson’s classes inspired him toward wanting to experience D.C. politics firsthand. Since he had most of his undergraduate coursework completed, Jones decided to make that dream come true. All he needed was the opportunity to make it happen. Jones decided to apply for the highly competitive W.N. Looper Award, which helps to cover living expenses for a humanities undergraduate hired for a summer internship on Capitol Hill. Jones’ philosophy is “I will always just try, the worst thing they can tell you is no. And if it’s a no, it’s fine, because you’re in no worse position than you were before.” Jones happily accepted the Looper Award and then used that same philosophy to secure an internship in the office of U.S. Rep. James E. Clyburn (SC-06), the (then) Assistant Democratic Leader of the House of Representatives.

After his internship with Rep. Clyburn’s office ended, Jones returned to D.C. by securing a coveted spot in the internship program of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF). Along with housing, CBCF supports participants with a stipend, office placements and a wealth of opportunities to interact with legislators and leaders on the Hill. Jones was successfully placed within the office of U.S. Rep. Jerry McNerney (CA-09), and although they had no openings when his internship ended, they were helpful during his job search, which led to a position with Rep. Kathy Castor (Fl-14). Jones then returned to Rep. McNerney’s office and stayed for another three years. During that time, Jones would serve as a staff assistant, legislative correspondent, and eventually a legislative aide.

Trevor Jones with Congressman Jerry McNerney

Jones valued the experience he gained in Rep. McNerney’s office, but something happened in 2018 that propelled him to change course. “It was kind of a culture shock you could actually feel” says Jones, referencing the new class of representatives, mostly female, who came into town like a whirlwind and hit the ground running. The excitement generated by their arrival piqued Jones’ curiosity about the electoral side of politics and prompted him to seek his next position: as a Special Assistant at EMILY’s List, a Political Action Committee and “the largest resource for women in politics.” Although Jones was uncertain as to how he would fit in at EMILY’s List, he was so inspired by the moment that he knew he had to try. He now manages board operations at EMILY’s List. In the process of collaborating with consultants, creative teams, politicians, celebrities, and endorsed candidates, Jones and his team plan and execute effective strategies that “connect the dots in all the right places to support and elevate Democratic pro-choice women.”

Jones often thinks about CofC and credits his political science classes and his time as an office assistant in Women’s and Gender Studies as having given him the tools to participate effectively and appropriately in many different types of spaces. “As a man I know I shouldn’t always be the first person in the room to speak. It’s so important to be able to distinguish the times to be vocal and the times to create space and opportunity for other, especially women, to be heard.” This final statement from Jones tells you all you need to know, we think, as to why his voice and leadership are so important in today’s world.

Despite his busy schedule, Jones donates his time as a volunteer in our mentorship program and has inspired many of our juniors and seniors to take the next bold step toward their dreams.

Trevor Jones with Joe Cunningham, Candidate for SC Governor

Trevor Jones with Rep. John Lewis

Note: We just received the news that Trevor has been promoted to Director of the Office of the President at EMILY’s list.  Congratulations, Trevor, and thanks for sharing your story!

 

 

 

 

 

Experiential learning – whether it be an internship, academic research, job shadowing, study abroad or any other experience where there is hands-on learning – sets you apart from your peers. Discover more about experiential learning opportunities on the Career Center’s website at https://careercenter.cofc.edu/students/internship-experiential-learning-opportunities/index.php.

under: Alumni, Careers, Internships, Mentorship Program
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