Senior Timon Jones hopes to influence others to follow their dreams with courage and consistency

Senior Timon Jones has been a budding entrepreneur for about as long as he can remember. From selling chains to his peers as a tween, to starting a clothing brand that he still operates today, to dipping into the High Country’s real estate world as an undergraduate at Lees-McRae, Jones has a passion for business and making his own way in the world.

Throughout his time at Lees-McRae earning a major in Business Administration and a minor in Psychology, Jones has been able to grow that passion within himself and find ways to channel it into others. Jones has been a leader on the men’s basketball team, participated in the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Foundation as a Fellow, and started his own club, The Dreamer’s Club.

The Dreamer’s Club ties together Jones’ major and minor by focusing on entrepreneurial skills and mental health knowledge. After attending a retreat with the Sullivan Foundation in 2022, Jones took the tools he had learned throughout the conference about being a “changemaker” and generated the idea for the club.

“I used the space to start off as a place where college students could talk about things we don’t learn in class,” Jones said. “Most college students don’t want to talk about finances. It’s a sensitive topic, and people would rather not talk about it, so I wanted to open that space to do that. At first, I just wanted to talk about money and stuff like that, but there is a long way to learn about yourself first before you learn about how to make money and start businesses.”

Jones said that at first it was difficult to spread the word about the club and encourage his peers to attend meetings, but after talking with Campus Sullivan Coordinator Amy Anderson, promoting The Dreamer’s Club at the college’s club fair, and spreading the word to his teammates, The Dreamer’s Club began to grow.

“From teaching to being an active listener to learning that being a changemaker starts within you; those three things changed how I look at a lot of different things,” Jones said. “This club has molded me into a better leader, not just on the court like I usually am, but more so off the court. It gave me a lane to go back and forth and feel confident in being not just a basketball player.”

Since starting the club, Jones said he has learned a lot about himself, his goals, and what it means to be a leader, but through this experience Jones has also created an outlet for himself to be successful beyond the basketball court, a topic he is very passionate about.

As a collegiate athlete who has devoted much of his life to achieving athletic excellence, Jones knows first-hand the hard work and dedication required to be successful in any sport. Following graduation, he even plans to play basketball professionally overseas. Despite his love and dedication for the game however, Jones also stresses the importance of athletes having other outlets for success, happiness, and personal fulfillment.

“A lot of athletes go into the land of just being an athlete so much that it kind of tarnishes just being you as a human being,” Jones said. “You should always have something you love to do, but you should also have something that’s going to make you a better person. Whether it’s entrepreneurship or giving back through teaching, you shouldn’t be labeled as just an athlete.”

Spreading this philosophy has been one of the main goals of The Dreamer’s Club, and one of the impacts Jones hopes to leave on the campus community once he graduates, along with a legacy of being courageous, consistent, and persistent in the pursuit of your goals. While he said there have been some detours he has had to take in the path toward reaching his goals, Jones has always maintained his focus, and has learned something about himself each step along the way.

“I’ve been here for five years, and the five years I’ve been here have been a crucial time. It was a weird time, but also a very impactful time. I saw when North Carolina and Virginia were still up. When COVID hit I saw when we had the tent on Tate Lawn, and it seemed like we had nothing. Now we’re getting new buildings, we have South Campus, and you can tell the school is getting better,” Jones said. “If I could take anything from the area, I would say that the community has honestly shown me to be open and not to write anybody off. It helped me be more courageous in the path I’m taking, whether it’s entrepreneurship or just trying new things out.”

By Maya JarrellApril 05, 2024