Spotlight: PeerForward Coach Quincy Jones
Do you have a nickname? If so where does it come from?
Yes my friends call me Q which is just short for Quincy
Where did you grow up? Tell me about what that was like?
I grew up in Cincinnati, OH, which was a very conservative city when I was growing up. We Cincinnati folks are huge sports fans. We support our home teams like the Bengals, the Reds, University of Cincinnati and Xavier for college ball.
What was your family like?
My family is great. I have an older brother who still leaves in Cincinnati with his wife. My mom and dad have been married for over 43 years. My mom has 5 brothers and sisters, so I have a lot of family in Cincinnati. My grandmother was from Greenville South Carolina and she had 9 brothers and sisters. So we have a family reunion every year either in Cincinnati or South Carolina.
Was going to college something you aspired to? What about your friends?
My parents, especially my dad, was very strict with curfews and chores. Of course, I did not appreciate it as a teenager but I do appreciate it now. In my household the question wasn’t whether we were going to graduate high school, it was what I was going to do after high school. My parents didn’t push or favor going to college, they just said that I would either get a job or going to college. As a teenager I was often angry with my parents for being so strict, so I used to think about what would be the quickest way to get out of the house after high school – which meant going to college. really wasn’t concerned with what my friends were doing after high school, which is strange to me now that I think about it. My high school was not very diverse and had a very low minority population, so I wanted to attend an HBCU, and I did. I enrolled at Kentucky State University in the fall of 1991. My older brother did not go to college, he decided to find a job.
Did you feel prepared for college? Did you have counselors at your high school to help you?
Feeling prepared can include many different things. It can mean being prepared academically, financially and/or socially. I really did not know what to expect when I enrolled in college, but I was always a good student who knew that I could do college level work, so I guess I was prepared academically. I was not prepared financially because of my large amount of student loan debt. I was prepared socially because, let’s face it, I’m a likable guy!
I believe I had good counselors at my high school, but I could not tell you their names, mainly because I did not visit them in their office. The counselors in my high school stayed in their offices and students would have to go see them. They did not offer too much, if any, outreach to us.
What was your college experience like?
My college experience was great. I met a lot of new friends that I am still close with to this day. I pledged Kappa Alpha Psi, Fraternity Inc., the greatest fraternity in the world.
When did you start thinking about possible career paths?
I actually really did not know what I wanted to do as far as a career path even after I graduated college. I finally found my passion for working to enhance the lives of young people when I turned 29.
Did you always aspire to work in education?
No, I began my career as a financial advisor. I moved to Washington DC when I was 27, still as a financial advisor. While working that job, I would volunteer as a tutor and mentor for DC youth in foster care. Between that and my faith, I realized that my passion and what I wanted to do was work with youth full-time, to help them with their social, academic, and goal-setting skills.
Did you face any obstacles on your college and career path? If so, how did you overcome them?
The only challenge I faced was myself, because I had too much fun in college and because of that, almost didn’t graduate. I had to go back to school an extra semester to make up some classes so I graduated in 4.5 years.
Are you married? Children? Do you discuss your work with your family?
I have been married for almost 5 years now. I have a 4-year-old son and 2 daughters age 16 and 18. Yes, I often discuss my work with my family.
What were you doing before you joined our team?
I worked as a high school college advisor in DC public schools.
When did you first learn about College Summit?
I was a College Coach at a Summer Workshop before I began working with College Summit full-time.
What do you love most about working here?
College Summit has many great co-workers which makes working here enjoyable. I also enjoy hearing from and seeing students that I have worked with become successful individuals after high school, whether it is enrolling in college, securing a great job, or joining the military.
Tell me about a project you’re working on now.
I am currently working on different workstreams to help develop the new PeerForward program and sharing my learnings and best practices from Future Corps.
How has College Summit impacted your own life?
College Summit has allowed me to visit and establish relationships with schools and students in a variety of different states. This has given me a greater and more holistic view of working with students and schools.
What do you do outside of work? Any personal hobbies or passions?
My family is what I do outside of work. From educating and playing with my 4-year-old son, teaching my 16-year-old daughter how to drive, and helping my 18-year-old daughter navigate all aspects of college life.
What is your favorite food?
I would say my favorite food has to be pizza.
What’s the most interesting place you’ve traveled to?
What is the last book you read?
Fostering Student Success in the Campus Community.
What are the three things you can’t live without?
My wife, my children, and my friends
Describe your ideal weekend.
Barbecuing on a nice warm day and then relaxing on the patio with my family and a cold beverage.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten?
My father always said “in all things, do your best, give 110%, and remember to have fun.”