Teka Jones has been planning events since she was 16.
Most recently, Jones coordinated Springfield‘s 2022 Community Day of Wellness in Massachusetts. During the event, Jones took a few minutes to speak to rolling out about the importance of promoting health and how it feels to work in a field one is passionate about.
How was the 2022 Day of Wellness event in Springfield, Massachusetts?
The event was great. None of the kids had their phones in their hands. They were having fun. They were wheeling their bikes, they were playing volleyball, they were dancing, they were doing yoga. They were learning. So it was very engaging. That’s what we want. We want the kids to come outside. We want them to learn about health and learn about mental health awareness. We want them to have fun, and that’s exactly what we did. They walked, they danced. They did a lot. They worked out and it worked out for us. So I enjoyed it. I loved it. I’m glad how everything worked out.
At what point in life did you get interested in this?
I guess I started doing events when I turned 16.
That’s pretty young.
I actually didn’t mean to get into events. I do video production, so video production was always my passion. I met someone who was doing events, and he kind of opened that door for me ever since. I started off by being an intern, but I started off at 16 with events. Then by 19, I got more involved in the community and did more community-based work. I’ve been doing that for over 15 years.
How important do you think it is for people to work in fields they’re passionate about?
It’s very important because when you’re [doing] something you’re passionate about, it’s not work. If you love to do it, you have fun. I felt like I wasn’t working today. I felt like I was having fun with kids and teaching them the way they should be [taught about] what they should be doing in life. So it’s very important.
Where did all your energy come from? You were out there in the dance class, left to get participants some lunch, then came back and continued dancing until it was time to announce the raffle winners.
I guess the energy comes from the kids. It comes from the people around me, and the love. There’s a lot of energy here, [there is] a lot of love here. So they’re fueling me, honestly. I haven’t gotten sleep in days, but it’s fueling me because it’s passion-based like you said, and we’re doing it for our community.
What does an event like this mean for the Black community in Springfield?
I think this is huge for the Black community in Springfield. I think this is going to open doors to more [and even] bigger events like this.