GEO Academies Graduate Working at GEO Foundation

The Road that Led Past College
David K. Jones
Marketing Associate | GEO Foundation

When I first walked through the doors at Fall Creek Academy, I did not know what to expect. As an 8th grade student that measured around 6-foot-4, the only thing I knew was that I wanted to continue being a student-athlete. After spending my entire scholastic career in Lawrence Township, my mother had relocated our family to the west side of Indianapolis. She was tasked with finding a suitable school for my younger sister and I, thus enrolling us at Fall Creek Academy.

I had no hopes of going to college. I was content on getting my high school diploma and getting out into the real world. That is, until I enrolled for my first dual-credit college course at Ivy Tech Community College.  In addition to the high school courses that students were required to pass for the CORE 40 diploma, there was the option to take college courses to help benefit us high school students after graduation.

I’ll never forget my first course; COMM 101 taught by Abdul-Hakim Shabazz, who even through college, was only one of three Black males to teach me at any grade level. My interest in college grew tremendously after acing his course. 

That same interest level rose again after meeting my current mentor, Mr. Courtney Crawley. GEO Foundation recruited what was then-Urban Mission YMCA to host after-school programs at Fall Creek and Mr. Courtney led a group for college readiness. He took us to college tours both in-state including Purdue, IUPUI and University of Southern Indiana and out-of-state including Tennessee State University, Fisk University and Vanderbilt University. He was an integral part of making sure my road led to college.

One teacher that I was quite fond of was my English teacher and athletic director during my senior year, Mr. Fort. I served as his student-teaching assistant twice a week and he kept me focused on applying for colleges and making sure I was ready to take the SAT. 

Upon graduation from Fall Creek in May 2012, I had started packing my bags to get ready for freshman orientation at Ball State University in June, my first choice on a narrow list of institutions. I enrolled in the College of Communication and Information Media or CCIM for a four-year Bachelor’s degree with nine credits already transferred from the courses I took at Fall Creek. During my final semester at Ball State, I interned for ESPN 1070 the Fan while taking 20 credits hours.

After graduation in 2016, I took my first job in my major. I became a sports editor working for a small newspaper in Crawfordsville, Indiana. As the year was close to wrapping up, there was a unique opportunity presented to me to work for GEO Foundation at the start of 2017. The road that led to college, led me past college and into a seat at the GEO Foundation.