Perron Jones has crossed the finish line.
He walked across the stage at McCamish Pavilion, May 1, to accept his second Georgia Tech degree in as many years. The walk was quite a contrast to his normal pace on campus. Just like one of his trademark sprints for the Yellow Jacket track and field team, Jones’ time at Tech has seemingly passed in mere seconds. But it’s how he filled those seconds that matters most.
A track scholarship and Georgia Tech’s highly ranked computer science program easily sold Jones on becoming a Yellow Jacket. He arrived on campus in 2009 and proceeded to set himself apart.
Jones’ athleticism made the transition to collegiate track relatively seamless. He competed for four years in both indoor and outdoor seasons. Specializing in sprints, Jones was the Georgia Tech record holder in the 60-meter dash for two years (2011-2013). Jones was also consistently honored by the Atlantic Coast Conference and nationally for his academic achievements as a student-athlete. He even represented the track and field team on varied boards at Georgia Tech and the ACC.
Photo Credit: Georgia Tech Athletics
Likewise, Jones’ transition in the classroom was effortless. Jones consistently excelled academically and graduated with high honors. He even managed to find time to tutor fellow students amidst his busy schedule. Jones was also active in the Minorities@CC student organization and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA).
It wasn’t always easy, though. Balancing extracurricular activities, schoolwork, and athletic responsibilities at a place like Georgia Tech can be challenging, he said. Jones employed typical techniques like planning out his day in advance and working efficiently. But, another source gave him the support he needed.
“I owe all of my success in whatever I did to Christ,” Jones said. “Knowing that he is always looking out for me produced major confidence in my abilities. Therefore, balancing everything no longer seemed like such a daunting task. I just trusted in Him, put my head down, and went hard to work.”
Jones’ efforts have paid major dividends. He received the 2013 Thacker Award from the Atlantic Coast Conference for postgraduate studies. The National GEM Consortium, a program to promote postgraduate STEM studies, also named Jones a GEM Fellow. The fellowship enabled him to attend graduate school with all expenses covered and to complete two internships with Qualcomm in San Diego.
Troy Peace, the College’s director of community, isn’t surprised by Jones’ success.
“He is a very intelligent young man that puts in the required time to prepare and to perform in the aforementioned areas, and much deserved success has come his way,” Peace said.
Fittingly, Jones won’t be slowing down post-graduation. He’ll take a service trip with Georgia Tech’s FCA chapter in May. Jones will then travel with his church to Israel for another service trip in June. He’ll then begin working with AirWatch, a mobile security and enterprise mobility management provider in Atlanta. And that’s not all; Jones is also affiliated with YellowBird, a start-up focused on a gamification approach to investment education.
“Georgia Tech and the College of Computing did an excellent job at preparing me to take on the workforce,” Jones said. “The challenges and trials I’ve overcome here have contributed to my character and given me confidence that I’m ready to take on the world.”