By Matthew Cimitile, University Communications and Marketing
Blair Wood Jones grew up in an area where getting a basic education was a challenge. The schools she went to in her local district were on academic probation nearly the entire time she advanced from K-12th grade. Many of her classmates experienced poverty, violence and discrimination, and it was common every year for teachers to quit. Jones persevered, becoming the salutatorian of her high school and an advocate for educational access.
“I was one of the lucky ones. I was able to move away, able to attend an amazing university and now have such a bright future ahead of me,” said Jones, who is graduating this spring with a degree in Entrepreneurship and Innovation from the USF St. Petersburg campus. “And this highlights the importance of access. The things we have access to has the ability to limit or expand the possibilities of our outcomes.”