Name: Terence Jones
Hometown: Philadelphia, PA
Major: Biology/Psychology Interdisciplinary major & Forensic Studies minor
Activities: Residential Assistant, Residential Assistant Mentor, Desk Assistant, ALANA mentor, Student Government Association’s Presidential Advisory Board, Intramural Basketball, Intramural Flag Football, Habitat for Humanity Volunteer, Don Miller House Volunteer.
Every year I see the posters for the Jamaican Experience and think about how cool it would be to go on an experience like this but I never actually thought of applying. This changed when I saw that a few friends of mine went and looked as if they had a great time. Throughout my three years at Loyola I have often challenged others, whether it be my mentees or my residents, to step out of their comfort zones but as I reflected on the thought of the Jamaican Experience I realized that I have never truly felt out of my comfort zone. I am not going abroad and the city of Baltimore is very similar to the city of Philadelphia, where I am from. Therefore how could I challenge others to do something that I have never really done myself?
So I began to think about how the Jamaican Experience would help me challenge myself to get out of what I am used to. To start, I have never been out of the country. America is the only thing that I know, and while I have been surrounded by many groups of people here in the U.S, I have never been in a situation where I, as an African American male, am the minority within a group of people that look the same as me. Next, I realized that the identity that I am least secure about is my faith. I have a good relationship with God but sometimes I struggle with organized religion and what it means to be a Christian.
After this reflection I was convinced that I had to apply for this experience of a life time and that it was time for me to feel uncomfortable and time for me to learn not only about the lifestyle of native Jamaicans but also learn more about myself. If you would like to help me on this journey you can do so by donating any available funds here. Your contribution would not only give me the opportunity of a life time but would also ensure that you become a part of this experience with me. So please, any support will be beneficial and appreciated.
Click here to make a donation to support me and the Jamaican Experience '15 team.