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Washington group honors local man

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Kevin Jones stands with former U.S. Dick Gephardt and Jessica Martinez on Monday at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. Jones and Gephardt were recipients of awards from the Washington Center Monday and Martinez, a graduate of Nash Central High School, is serving as an intern with the Washington Institute.

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BY AMELIA HARPER
Staff Writer

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Rocky Mount native Kevin Jones received national recognition Monday night in the nation’s capital because of the impact he is making in the lives of young people at home.

“It was humbling, but a great experience,” Jones said.

The Washington Center presented Jones with its 2018 Alumni Impact Award at a gala attended by nearly 400 people Monday at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. Jones was recognized for his professional accomplishments and his strong commitment to the success of local students. 

Since February 2014, Jones has raised more than $50,000 through his nonprofit group, the BAC Scholarship Fund, to help roughly 50 students from local schools pursue their college dreams.

Jessica Martinez, a 2015 graduate of Nash Central High School and one of Jones’s BAC Scholars, presented Jones with the award. Martinez, who is a senior at UNC-Charlotte, is spending this semester in Washington serving as an intern with The Washington Center, where she is working at the U.S. Department of Education.

Martinez said the opportunity to work in Washington has really helped shape her life goals and has “opened her eyes to so much more,” according to a press release.

Jones said the recognition for his personal accomplishments only means something if it helps someone else.

“The fact that a student from Rocky Mount was on that stage beside me was my proudest moment of the evening. Jessica Martinez is the child of Mexican immigrants and a first generation college student who is now an intern with the Washington Institute. Creating a pipeline of opportunity for students like this is everything I hoped for,” Jones told the Telegram.

Jones also serves on the board of directors for Peacemakers of Rocky Mount and Communities In Schools of the Rocky Mount Region. In addition, he serves on the advisory board of the School of Technology at N.C. A&T State University.

The largest program of its kind in the country, The Washington Center is an independent nonprofit organization that provides internships and academic seminars to students and young professionals from across the U.S. and more than 25 countries, the press release said.

Jones was selected out of the organization’s more than 55,000 alumni and was only one of four honorees recognized Monday. Other honorees of the evening included Cari Stein of PBS and former U.S. House Majority Leader Dick Gephardt.

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