It’s been five years since Courtney Jones graduated from Quitman High School. The 2012 salutatorian was set to go to Mississippi College, but something went wrong with the scholarships and by July of that year she was calling Jones County Junior College to see if she could still utilize the full scholarship she had received from them. It was late, she was told. That offer had expired in June, but Courtney was invited to come and discuss the matter in person.
In May of 2014 Courtney finished a concentrated study in chemistry in the honors college at JCJC and was on her way with scholarships to The University of Mississippi. Two years later she was holding her B.A. degree in biochemistry, and May 12th, 2017 she earned her Master’s degree in Biomedical Science at William Carey University.
But Courtney is not done yet. The next step is dental school.
“When I was three I was at my aunt’s house in Illinois. She was asking a group of us kids what we wanted to be when we grew up, and I told her that I wanted to be a bathtub,” She laughs. “Once she told me that I couldn’t be a bathtub, I decided I wanted to be a dentist. I’ve always gone to the same dentist, and I love my dentist. I cannot wait to be a dentist. I know that once you’re doing what you want to be doing you enjoy it so much.”
Now Courtney is focused on preparing for her DAT, or dental admission test. Once she has completed it, she plans to enter dental school in June of 2018.
“I would love to go to UMC in Jackson, but I am willing to go anywhere. In the meantime I am looking for work in a dental office so I can have that experience and build my resume for dental school.”
Preparing for the DAT and building a resume for dental school is not all that Courtney is doing. She is also the assistant director for Poplar Springs Drive United Methodist Church summer program, and she is using her positive energy and time away from school to get involved as a mentor for young women in Clarke County.
“I’ve been thinking about doing this group for a couple of years. When I went to college, I was always overly involved in school. I became part of this group called ESTEEM, and it was all about women empowering women to be their best selves. I thought to myself, if I would have had this same group in high school or junior high, I would have been even happier. So, I wanted to give that to young women here. I want to let them know that they have to believe in themselves. If they don’t have a space for themselves, then they have to create one. It’s why I created Dialogue as a program for girls in grades 9 through 12. The classes are free, and we meet twice a week for two hours. We already have so much planned.”
Courtney speaks from experience and offers advice to the 2017 QHS graduates,
“Biggest thing I learned from junior college to now is you need to build relationships with your professors. Go in that first week and put a face with your name. It is so crucial.”