When Nick Jones graduated West Seneca West High School (Seneca, NY) in 2007, he believed that college was not in his future, so he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps.
As a Marine, Jones was placed on a Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team. In 2010 his team was sent to Haiti in order to secure the U.S. embassy after the devastating earthquake. The experience was illuminating for Jones, who came to learn that citizens of developed countries “really don’t understand how good we have it.” (qtd. in Fyock, Buffalo Review)
Jones was exposed to yet another drastically different way of life, when he was transferred to another unit and deployed to Afghanistan as an infantry squad leader.
When Nick Jones completed his service in 2012, his feelings about pursuing a college education had changed. He enrolled in Erie Community College, where he began to play football. University of Texas at El Paso soon took notice of the 6-foot-6 tight end, and recruited Jones to play Division I football. When Jones was sidelined due to injury, he thought his football career was over, but a friend encouraged him to transfer to SUNY Buffalo State and give football another shot.
In 2015, Jones found his way to the SUNY Buffalo State football team as a tight end. He was elected captain for the 2016 season. December 2016 was a good month Nick—he completed his degree in Health and Wellness and was invited to the National Bowl in Daytona Beach.
Of his football experience, Jones remarked:
“The guys on the team have been like brothers. We’ve made memories I never want to forget. Being part of an athletic program or a club is a great experience. College itself is a great experience.” (Kaiser, Buffalo State News)
Now, as the football and girls’ basketball coach for West Seneca West High School, Nick Jones pursues a teaching certificate and continues to instill the most important qualities of leadership.