CSU Trustees’ Award Winner Wants to Help Native Youth

From a young age, Julia Jones learned to depend on school for support. Today, she is working towards a career in law and counseling to help Native youth overcome challenges to attend college. Jones has been named a 2020 CSU Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Achievement winner.

Julia Jones remembers always dealing with stress as a child, from financial issues to her home life. Rather than letting it overcome her, she turned to school as an escape. “School gave me goals to focus on instead of problems that I had no control over,” says Jones.

Julia Jones, recipient of the CSU Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Achievement.

After maintaining over a 3.0 GPA at Hoopa Valley High, Jones carried her academic achievements to Humboldt State University, where she is double majoring in Native American Studies and Sociology. Recognized for her academic performance, community service, and significant personal achievements, Jones is among 23 students who won the annual California State University Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Achievement this year, the CSU’s highest recognition of student achievement.

The CSU Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Achievement will recognize Jones during a virtual ceremony on September 22nd. Each student has overcome tremendous personal hardships and demonstrated financial need. The base scholarship is $6,000 with opportunities to receive enhanced awards. Read more about the awards and winners on the CSU website.

Born and raised in the Hoopa Valley Tribe, Jones volunteers as an intern for the tribe in the areas of child development and law. “I tell kids to never get discouraged,” says Jones. “Keep trying and pushing through challenges.”

As a young student, Jones depended on support from TRIO counselors, who helped her apply for financial aid and admission to HSU. Today, she encourages other Native students to do the same.

“Cultural centers, like ITEPP [Native American Center for Academic Excellence] are really important for students of color,” explains Jones. She chose to attend HSU largely because of the reputation of the campus’ ITEPP program. “I already had a community at HSU,” she explains.

After graduation, Jones plans to attend law school and possibly work as an attorney for the tribe. Her Sociology classes have also sparked her interest in counseling: She wants to help children and teens who faced similar challenges as herself succeed in academics.

“When given the time and support, adolescents will strive to achieve the future they want for themselves,” says Jones.