Education

Student of the Week: Senior leaves big footprint at O’Fallon High

O'Fallon High's Stefan Jones hopes to mix it up

O'Fallon Township High School senior Stefan Jones is the Belleville News-Democrat student of the week. He blends school, a job and lots of extracurricular activities. He expects to become a professional at balancing and mixing things, wanting to b
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O'Fallon Township High School senior Stefan Jones is the Belleville News-Democrat student of the week. He blends school, a job and lots of extracurricular activities. He expects to become a professional at balancing and mixing things, wanting to b

O’Fallon Township High senior Stefan Jones isn’t the kind of guy who likes to just hang out.

“I definitely like to keep busy,” Jones said. “I try to be involved in as many things as I can. I get bored if I don’t have anything to do.”

Jones is soft-spoken and prefers to let his actions do the talking.

He has been involved in more than 20 clubs and activities during his high school career. Some highlights are serving as editor of the school yearbook, anchor of the Panther Beat news program, National Honor Society, president of the Future Business Leaders of America, Model United Nations, the Prom Committee and the OTHS Student Leadership Team.

“I get my ambition from my mom,” Jones said. “She tells me stories about things that she has seen in her life and told me that if you don’t like the way things are, you need to put yourself in a position to change them.”

His mom, Tracy, is a nurse. Jones said he is inspired to follow her into the medical profession. But he hasn’t followed her suggestions to the letter.

“She suggested I should be a doctor,” Jones said. “But I don’t like blood or things like that at all. So I am thinking about becoming a pharmacist.”

I get my ambition from my mom. She tells me stories about things that she has seen in her life and told me that if you don’t like the way things are, you need to put yourself in a position to change them.

Stefan Jones, senior at O’Fallon Township High School

Among his accomplishments, Jones received a Racial Harmony Award, and he was named an Extraordinary Leader Impacting Today’s Environment.

“It’s important to me to make a difference in any way I can,” Jones said. “It means a lot to me to be recognized for helping people. But (recognition) isn’t why I do things. I want to be a part of things and to help.”

He said he’s disappointed that it seems sometimes society is governed more by money than it is by what is best for people.

“I had a relative in a nursing home and they put her out because they weren’t making enough money off her,” Jones said. “The motive behind something like that is just pure greed. I’d like to put myself in a position to stop things like that from happening.”

Unsettled on where he wants to go to college, Jones said he wants to be deeply involved, no matter where he ends up.

“I feel like it’s good for me to absorb everything I can, to experience as many things as possible,” Jones said. “I’ve met a lot of people, and it’s opened a lot of doors to great opportunities.”

Jones said as an 18-year-old high school student he’s so busy that he doesn’t have much spare time for hobbies. When he does have a free few minutes, he prefers spending time with his family.

He is so dedicated to experiencing as much as possible, Jones said he volunteered to work on Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner’s election campaign even though he is a Democrat.

“Why not?” Jones asked. “My goal is to be able to work with anyone on any issue. Plus, it was valuable experience in politics.”

Jones said making phone calls and talking to voters has inspired him to potentially run for office one day.

“Anything is possible,” Jones said. “I want to experience and witness it all.”

About Stefan Jones:

  • Age: 18
  • School: O’Fallon Township High School
  • Class: Senior
  • Family: Mother Tracy Jones
  • Clubs: Future Business Leaders of America, president of Culture Mix, St. Clair County Youth Board, Center for Racial Harmony, editor OTHS yearbook, Interact Club, OTHS Student Leadership Team, National Honor Society and Outdoors Club
  • Honors: Racial Harmony Award, Extraordinary Leader Impacting Today’s Environment
  • Wants to be: In the medical field, most likely as a pharmacist, or in business administration
  • Colleges he is considering: Washington University, St. Louis University, Vanderbilt University
  • Of note: Jones has size 17 feet and has difficulty finding shoes large enough to fit.
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