Solomon Jones needed a second chance and he thinks he’s getting it at SCC. Growing up in a difficult home environment, he’s dealt with the kind of disruption kids in SCC’s Guardian Scholars support program for emancipated foster youth know all too well. And he responded to his circumstances in a way so many kids do – with a negative attitude and less-than-stellar academic performance.
But buried beneath the bad attitude and low grades was a smart, big thinker with vast potential. This is, after all, the kid who at 13 started his own record label –RaceDeep Records, the goal of which remains to put positive lyrics to Hip Hop music.
“As a child, I went to an Angel’s baseball game where I ended up in the dugout and got a Polaroid photo with one of the players. He must have seen something in me, because he signed the photo “Solomon, go to college!”
Eventually, Solomon started to imagine that he could alter his life’s course. He credits his El Modena High School English teacher, Jason Moeller, for helping him see his potential and planting the idea that a boyhood dream of attending UCLA was not out of reach, despite an underwhelming academic track record.
After coming to SCC to finish his high school diploma, Solomon transitioned into an Associate Arts for Transfer (AAT) program in 2007. There have been a lot of new challenges since then, including a 3-year hiatus working dead-end retail jobs that eventually only bolstered his resolve to go back to SCC. He speaks very highly of all of the dedicated staff and faculty who have offered counseling support, but is especially grateful to Associate Dean of Student Development Loretta Jordan for suggesting he apply for SCC’s Guardian Scholars program and to Diana Casares for introducing him to Associated Student Government (ASG), where he currently serves as Athletics Commissioner. He’s majoring in English in the hopes of following someday in the footsteps of El Modena’s Mr. Moeller: becoming a high school or college English teacher who really cares about students, even the rebellious ones.
Asked about what being an SCC Hawk has meant to him, Solomon expresses a worldly wisdom that would one sooner expect from someone years older: “SCC has given me the chance to change course and work toward my goal of obtaining a 4-year college degree. Building a life – in the long run – is more important than short-term goals like earning money from dead-end jobs to buy a cool car. The sacrifice is worth it. The future is in education.”