Ronjae Jones received the Class of 2016 Harry Lewis Jr. Scholarship Award in May of 2015 as he was just about to graduate from Coatesville Are Senior High School.
While in high school, Ronjae joined the Coatesville Youth Initiative (CYI) because he thought it was a great way to reach out to the community, as a volunteer, something he always did as a child. “I enjoy volunteering and giving back to younger children, raised in the same circumstances as me. Confidence was one of the biggest things I learned during my time with CYI. It really helped me to come out of my shell in my freshman year.”
In addition to being involved with CYI’s summer ServiceCorps program, Ronjae also was involved with the Game Changers for two years. Ronjae shared that the CYI instilled in him much wisdom and insight, which he now passes on to other people. “Working with the children, gave me that self-confidence and wow that I can really make a difference in this community; and I learned that becoming a leader doesn’t always consist of being in the front, sometimes it’s about being in the background, listening to others opinions, and creating your own insights.” Ronjae has also been involved with BRIDGEE (Brothers Reaching Individually Determined to Generate Educational Excellence), over the last four year, and is currently the president.
Ronjae started a small filming group, mainly focused on sports over the past 3 1/2 years, and stressed that the CYI staff continued to support him with his interests, talents, hobbies and passions. Ronjae has filmed everything from sports, school events, school board meetings, and has been in just about every role from being director, editor, producer, film maker, sound, lighting and more. Ronjae shared, “I’ve been able to take those things I learned from the CYI and my mentors that I admire and look up to, and try my best to embody every piece of advice I’ve been given and move forward in the best direction.”
Based on his videography achievements, he was honored by the school in November of 2014 with a Lifetime Achievement Award. He was also asked to create a video for Harry Lewis Jr. when he was elected as State Representative. “As he was being honored, I was honored as well. It meant so much to give back to a special man who is so important to so many lives. He has affected my life, as a man, role model and leader, and continues to do that for me today. I don’t just carry myself; I carry my family and my community on with me wherever I go. I represent Coatesville, and I do my best to represent it as the good city that it is. I am truly honored to be selected for this scholarship.”
Ronjae now attends Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia.