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Celebrating Local Black Youth: Terrance Jones

Join us in celebrating Black excellence this month and throughout the year. This Black History Month we highlight local Black youth and the impact they’ve made in their communities. You can find all of the Local Black Heroes we’ve featured since 2020 here. Sign up for our to get updates in your inbox and learn more about the impact of local heroes in your community.

Terrance Jones, a senior at Kalamazoo Central High School, is a humble leader who cares deeply for his community. Whether it’s leading his basketball team to victory after victory, planning for his future, keeping up with his friends and family, or staying on top of school, Jones is a leader on and off the court.

Giving Back In Small Ways

Inspired by his mentor, Dr. Harold Swift, Jones leads his team and classmates with confidence and integrity. “Dr. Swift will go out of his way to help as many people as he can… I aspire to be like him,” Jones shares.

Dr. Swift runs the Jeter’s Leaders program, a highly selective leadership program that “transforms high school students who are role models in their communities into powerful agents of social change.”

Jones gives back to his community in small but mighty ways. By picking up trash, volunteering, and mentoring other youth, Jones is walking in Dr. Swift’s footsteps. “These little things are important because not many people do them. I don’t do it to stand out, but I know these little things are important and may help the world and people,” Jones remarks.

Future Plans

Though he is currently weighing his options for college, Jones’ love for basketball and uplifting others has combined into his hopes for his future: he aspires to pursue Exercise Psychology.

“The idea came from me always wanting to help people and my love for basketball. In this career, I can do both at the same time,” Jones explains.

Jones hopes to continue giving back to his community in adulthood by guiding future youth the way his mentors have guided him. He shares, “I want to help the next generation be better than I was and be prepared for what’s to come.”

Become a leader among leaders. Terrance Jones

Everything in Balance

Amidst being highlighted as being “on the rise as one of West Michigan’s best point guards” in an article by MLive, sorting through college acceptance letters, and uplifting his community, Jones still manages to carve out time for himself. He establishes balance through self-care by listening to music, playing basketball, and spending time with his family and friends.

How does Jones find balance amidst all of his responsibilities? “Planning things out and communicating clearly,” he shares. “And also knowing when to say no.”

Being Black Gives You Strength

When asked what advice he would like to leave for other Black youth, Jones shares, “Being black is not easy, plain and simple. You have to work harder; you have to look at situations differently than others. However, being Black gives you strength, helps you persevere, and become better.”