Eric De'mon Jones
To put it simply, I would not be where I am today had it not been for the DC Semester Program at the University of Georgia. There would be no White House experience for me, no Good Morning America internship, no fun/cool job that I have today without it. I owe everything to the program. How many chances are there for students of all backgrounds to spend a semester in the Nation's capital, intern at the highest levels, companies, and agencies, and at the same time receive course credit. The Spring Semester of 2011 was undoubtedly my crowing semester of my collegiate experience, and probably the best 5 months of my entire life.
Born and raised in small town of Vidalia, Georgia, Eric has never let road blocks get in the way of his purpose. “My grandmother always taught me that it isn’t about the trials and tribulations that I go through in life, but it is about coming through those same trials and tribulations a better more formidable person.” That same grandmother, Lueretha Stevens, raised Eric from a very young age since at 16—his parents weren’t ready to handle all that came with parenthood. Education was stressed to Eric as the one tool that could burst open any pathway to success. Despite moving from home to home and being shuffled in between guardians in high school, Eric graduated from Vidalia Comprehensive High School as class Salutatorian and went on to Graduate from the University of Georgia as Summa Cum Laude. But not before completing two life changing internships at The White House under First Lady Michelle Obama and Good Morning America/ABC News. After graduating, Eric moved to New York permanently to begin work on Good Morning America, where he just began his 3rd year.
Digital and Broadcast Journalism (ABJ); Political Science (AB)
Why I went:
Before I graduated, I knew as a Political Science major that I wanted to have a meaningful and life-changing internship in politics. Didn’t know that would end up with me interning at The White House, I will be eternally grateful for the time I spent in the Nation’s capital. It would not have been possible without the opportunities given to me by Don DeMaria and the Washington Semester Program.
Favorite spot to visit:
So hard to say! What I love about DC is that it’s definitely a quintessential city but at the same time it feels like a small town to me. I loved the restaurants—Lauriol Plaza will always rank in my top 5. Period.
Most memorable day:
Working in the Office of the First Lady lent itself to a lot of memorable days and “holy crap is that…?” moments. But definitely the night of the White House Motown Event ranks as my fave. I was in charge of escorting celebrities to their seats and taking care of any guest requests. I’ll never forget Stevie Wonder’s assistant giving me Stevie’s bag saying “This is Mr. Wonder’s bag” and me thinking to myself, “Eric whatever you do don’t drop this bag!!” That plus running into Jamie Foxx and Smokie Robinson harmonizing will never ever leave me. Priceless. I’m beyond proud of my experiences in Washington, D.C. I grew not only as a student, but as a young man as well. I learned so much about myself, my strengths, my weaknesses, and after my five months there felt more equipped to walk into my intended career path.
Why I'm glad I went:
I am beyond grateful that I participated in this extraordinary program. Not only did the program shape me academically and professionally, it undoubtedly helped make me the young man I am today. I am ready for any hurdles and/or challenges I may face when it comes to living and working in a major city as an adult—all because of the Washington Semester Program.