Foley High School
Steven Jones was born the third of six children. After years of living in poverty, surrounded by substance abuse, his early education was filled with anger, discipline, and attendance problems. Steven wanted to excel, however. He found playing football a way to achieve his desires. “I wanted something better than what I had.”
Opportunity was presented when Steven’s teammate Travis Borders invited him to visit church. Steven was met with kindness. From other church members and football coach Todd Watson, he learned about the Sheriffs’ Boys Ranch—a place where school-age children from situations of abuse could live, learn and thrive. Steven set his mind to a new course. He arrived at a pre-placement interview with suitcase in hand—ready to begin a new life.
Since then, Steven has played varsity football at Foley High School for three years. Coach Watson says, “He is the strongest player on the team. He was an All-County selection for two years and was recently selected as one of only 40 All-Stars statewide to represent Alabama in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game.” Steven maintains a 3.85 GPA, serves his church and community through volunteer work, and speaks publically on behalf of the Boys’ Ranch and the United Way. He has received numerous awards and commendations for his athletic prowess, his inspirational influence and his academic achievements.
Nearest to Steven’s heart is the role of peer leader/counselor at his school and the Boys’ Ranch. House parents Daniel and Lauren McCrory wrote, “He is our oldest boy here at the Ranch, and all of the other boys look up to him…If you need something done, he is the one you can count on. When someone needs a friend, he is there for them. That is the kind of person he is.”
Peer Helpers Coordinator Julia Q. Champion (who nominated Steven as a Young Hero) said, “Steven fully understands his role as a mentor to the younger boys and handles that pressure beautifully.”
Ms. McCrory shared a conversation with Steven about his past and his parents. He told her, “I’ve forgiven them. I still love them. And when they are old and sick, I will take care of them. Even though they didn’t take care of me, I will take care of them one day.”
“This is the kind of character Steven Jones possesses,” Ms. McCrory wrote. Truly, this is the kind of character that makes a young man a Young Hero of Alabama.