Saturday, July 25, 2015

Will Jones- Graduate!

Will & his mom with 2 of his birthday presents from last weekend- speakers
for his turntable and a Beach Boys vinyl. That's my boy!!!
This morning at 10 o'clock my son, Will Jones, graduates with honors from St. Petersburg College, receiving his AA degree. It's great day for Will and for his girlfriend Michelle who will also walk in cap and gown today. We are very proud of them both and excited to share in the moment with them.

With all that Will has accomplished and achieved over these past years it is easy to overlook what he had to overcome to reach this point in his young life. Way back in 2007, as he entered the 7th grade, no one would have been surprised if he had just given up. Because of family moves, he was on his third school in three years. I had embarrassed and disappointed him, and we had pulled him away from some great friends and some wonderfully supportive adults. Starting over is always difficult; starting over in middle school is a nightmare. Will could have just phoned it in and done only what he had to do. Instead, he made the best of it. He found new interests, made new friends and excelled in the classroom. He won awards and broke test score records with his writing. He grew up respectful of others and with a heart for those who are less fortunate. For the past two years he has worked hard and saved a lot of money to prepare for going out on his own. His taste in music is a lot like mine- EXCELLENT!- and we have the best conversations about entertainment and life. Marilyn and I could not be happier with the young man he is today. And through it all, he has been driven by a goal. He wants to write and direct movies. He's known that since he was about 10. And he has never taken his eyes off of that prize.

So as he graduates today I see the event a bit differently than most, because deep down inside I suspect Will does too. You know in the NCAA college basketball tournament how the teams that expect to win it all never cut down the nets when they get through the regional? They celebrate a bit and then focus on their primary objective- winning it all. To me, today is just the regional for Will (and Michelle). He has bigger goals. In a month he is off to the University of Central Florida and the film school there. He will finally be doing what he has dreamed of doing all these years. There is much work to be done and he is so ready to get on with it. So while there will be a justifiable celebration at the Cheesecake Factory later today, we won't be cutting down the nets just yet. That day is still to come- along with the premier of his first film!

So please, leave notes of "congradulations" for my son here today. Let him know you are proud of him just as we are. But just as importantly, get ready to amp up your support for his future and his pursuit of his goals. The journey does not end today. It continues on. 

Love you, buddy!


  1. Anonymous7/25/2015

    Congrats Will! You are amazing & an inspiration.

  2. Congratulations were always of to me when I had just finished Step 2 or 3 or whatever. To me it was obvious that was going to happen, so why say Congratulations. I hadn't finished yet.
    So in that spirit I won't say Congratulations. I will say, "Good Luck on the next step. Knock 'em dead Will."


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