Darby Jones has one singular focus for her life – to be a force for good for her community – and she speaks eloquently and with laser focus about that goal.
“At the end of the day I really just want to be able to help others,” said Jones. “I think working as a police officer will allow me to use my skill set and physical abilities to serve others and invest directly into my community.
Currently enrolled in the Tarleton State University Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice program at RELLIS, Jones is well on her way to being able to do just that. Prior to enrolling in courses with Tarleton, Jones pursued two main passions – softball and criminal justice.
Jones began playing softball at a young age and grew to love the sport, even getting her father involved as a coach at one point. After graduating from high school in May 2017 Jones wasn’t quite ready to leave the sport behind and wanted to stay local with her family, while pursuing a college education.
“I played in high school and knew I wanted to continue to play after graduation,” said Jones. “I was thrilled when the Blinn coach offered me a scholarship and a spot on the team.”
As much as Jones wanted to play softball, she had another passion to consider. Fortunately, Blinn offered courses in criminal justice, allowing her continuing playing the sport she loved and pursuing her education simultaneously.
“I have a distant relative who was a Texas Ranger and my dad teaches Texas history, so I sort of fell in love with government and politics at a young age,” said Jones. “By the time I graduated from high school I knew I wanted to become a police officer.”
After two years at Blinn Jones knew it was time to retire her softball cleats and focus full time on her college education.
“I wanted to be able to stay around the Bryan-College Station area, but was really trying to find the best program for me,” said Jones. “I heard about the Tarleton criminal justice program and really considered enrolling in courses at Stephenville.”
Luckily, Jones learned about the RELLIS Academic Alliance and the Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice program through Tarleton offered on-site. She co-enrolled with Blinn and Tarleton in Fall 2019, and just finished her last course with Blinn in the Summer of 2020.
Now fully enrolled in Tarleton courses at RELLIS, Jones is thriving with her eye on the prize – graduation this coming December.
“I couldn’t ask for a better college experience,” said Jones. “From the small classes to the professors, I feel like I am where I should be, learning all the things I need to in order to be successful and give back to my community.”
Originally published January 14, 2021.