FRPA Announces Creation of Julia Jones Memorial Scholarship Fund to be housed in the FRPA Foundation, and the Renaming of the Abrahams-Jones Academy for Leadership Excellence
Julia Thompson Jones was passionate about leadership and dedicated to assuring parks and recreation was forever available in communities across our Country. When serving as President-Elect of FRPA in 1996-97 Julia began working on the creation of an educational journey that would assure generations of leaders in the parks and recreation industry were prepared for assuming executive level leadership positions. She believed this was the cornerstone of any effort to increase recognition of the value, impact, and importance of parks and recreation.
She often was heard speaking of the impact leaders and mentors had on her individually. One such mentor was Joe Abrahams, former Director of Tampa Parks and Recreation Department. He was a friend and a resource for her. His passing during her work developing the Academy, presented the opportunity for the Academy to be named in honor of a great leader in our field.
Julia’s continued efforts culminated in the creation of the Academy for Leadership Excellence, an intensive educational endeavor to prepare future generations of leaders to serve our industry. She continued to serve the Academy as Lead Faculty, alongside her dear friend Karen Palus, until 2012 when both left Florida to continue their service outside the State of Florida.
Upon Julia’s passing, a group of her Florida friends out a desire to forever honor their friendship, and memorialize Julia and her contributions to our field, approached and received the blessing of Julia’s family to create the Julia Jones Memorial Scholarship. The program will provide funding assistance to parks and recreation professionals wishing to attend the Academy.
“Julia was the consummate professional, and her passion and dedication were evident to anyone around her. Of paramount importance to Julia was developing leaders in our field. She was committed to preparing professionals to assume those leadership roles. The creation of the Julia Jones Memorial Scholarship program will assure those efforts are memorialized in her honor.” said Karen Palus.
FRPA Executive Director Eleanor Warmack commented, “Julia’s passion was contagious. Whatever she had gleaned from her mentors she paid forward one hundred times greater. She had the spirit of a teacher and the generous commitment of her time to develop and instruct at the Academy has and will continue to leave a legacy of individuals who share her dedication to our field. Julia would be humbled and honored to have her name attached with one of her mentors, to the Academy.”
Donations to the Julia Jones Memorial Scholarship Fund can be made online, making sure to note in memory of Julia Jones; OR
By completing the donor form, marking “Julia”, and returning it to the FRPA Foundation, 411 Office Plaza Drive, Tallahassee, FL 32301. Donors wishing to annually contribute can make one-time donations, or may request their annual donations to the FRPA Foundation be earmarked to this scholarship program.