Alumni Spotlight: Scott Jones

Served: ’12, ’13

Current Occupation:  Development Associate for Opportunity Nation (and soon to be Development Operations Coordinator for Alumni Affairs and Development Office of Harvard University Faculty of Arts and Sciences)

Fun Fact:  Scott is currently training for a marathon in Anchorage, Alaska—at the end, there will be an all you can eat salmon buffet!

City Year Boston (CYB): What first attracted you to City Year?
Scott Jones (SJ): A recommendation from friend who did it in DC, who thought it would be the right fit for me. My whole work experience leading up to City Year, in high school and college, was with youth in various mentoring programs. I worked at YMCA summer camps and coordinated Project Eye to Eye on my campus, which is college program that pairs college students with learning disabilities with elementary students with similar learning disabilities and the college students act as mentors. That really opened my eyes to service, and I knew I was looking for something that would give me the opportunity to keep serving youth.

CYB: What is your proudest moment from your service year?
SJ: My proudest moment was a student versus staff and City Year basketball competition during my corps year at the Dearborn. It was a school wide event that we planned for months. It came at a time during the school year when students were just really dragging, at the end of winter. It was our first year in the school and they really hadn’t had a whole lot of events like it in the past, so it was a new way for students to connect with teachers and the community. It was really special because the kids loved basketball […] and it was really cool to see not only the students come alive, but the community showed up and it really brought people together. The game solidified our role in the school as being embedded in the culture.

CYB: Tell me about a major challenge you faced during your service year and how you overcame it.
SJ: My biggest challenge was just learning to take care of myself in what can be a very demanding time. […] But my teammates and I held each other accountable to personal goals for self-care. I even got a group together to run a half marathon.

Photo: Jones, back row, third from left.

CYB: How did City Year prepare you for your current career path in development and fundraising?
SJ: City Year was my first experience tracking large amounts of data—student level data—and using data to, first, adjust how we deliver the City Year model and how we implemented it in school; second, give us ability to adjust how we work with individual students; and third, to show teachers the impact we were making. In both of my service years I was in first year partnerships, and data really allowed us to make concrete case for how ‘X’ number of hours has resulted in ‘Y’ outcomes for students. It was also my first experience working with Salesforce, which is a hard skill. I gained a lot of soft skills through my year of service, but Salesforce was a hard skill that I used a lot in my role at Opportunity Nation, and has now given me this opportunity at Harvard.

CYB: Why do you continue to stay involved with City Year as an alum?
SJ: My service years developed me so much personally and professionally that I want to make sure corps members are able to really capitalize on skills gained during City Year and find good opportunities coming out of it. My senior corps year, I was super fortunate to find the job I’m currently in, thanks to a City Year networking event. I want to continue to make sure those possibilities are made available to current corps members.

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