Rolling Out

Kecia L. Jones leads next generation to JumpStart through Morgan Stanley

Executive director brings insight to giving back
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Kecia L. Jones is doing her part, pushing the next generation as forward as she can.

The executive director of Morgan Stanley’s JumpStart program recently spoke to rolling out about her role and purpose.

What is your role at Morgan Stanley?

I’ve been the director for the Morgan Stanley JumpStart program for LEADing for Life for the past three years. It has been an amazing experience and an opportunity. The program actually is a five-month long financial literacy program that also teaches leadership development.

This particular year, we really focused on scholars, not just talking about leadership, but putting them in a position to lead. In our community action project, these scholars raised over $25,000 for an organization through their scholar-led mediums. We’re just really excited about the program and what it will do in 2025.

What does doing this work mean to you?

That’s huge for me. I think there’s a difference between your job and your work. It’s a wonderful thing when you can connect the dots. Your job really is your day-to-day work, your purpose for being. For me, youth empowerment and knowing your power before you talk about where [you’re] going to use it is incredibly critical. [It’s critical] especially in our community, to ignite power within our young people within our families and institutions, so people are stepping up as leaders. We’re not looking for leader, we’re recognizing the leader within because we already have that power to create change in the world. To me, there is no greater work than this particular work.

What are some intangibles that make a great community leader?

The ability to listen and recognize you have one point of view. You are one angle of light, but there are diverse angles of light. It is incredibly important that we’re able to listen to multiple, diverse stories within our own community and around the world so we can create change that is not one-sided but connected to all of humanity, where we can really create change for all people.

What is one financial tip you have for 2024?

Invest in yourself. Invest in yourself, focus on who you are, recognize and honor your gifts. Allow that to explode within your own life, family and community. Because if you focus on who you really are, that’s going to multiply, not just your life, but your pockets and every aspect. We need you to invest in you so you can invest in the community as a whole.

How can someone join the JumpStart program?

We ended in April, and we’re beginning right back up in August. So if you have a young scholar that is going into their senior year, this is a time to actually apply for the program. It is a five-month long program, so the earlier you put your application in, the better.

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