Aliyah Jones: A Running Start Toward Law School

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A scholarship helped Aliyah Jones continue her momentum toward her goal of a law degree.

Aliyah Jones has her eye on law school, and she expects her Criminal Justice major, with a minor in Law & Policy, to launch her in that direction. The Debra Friedman Memorial Endowed Scholarship is helping her get the most out of her UW Tacoma experience by helping her afford to live on campus and buy books.

Jones graduated from Union High School, in Camas, and was a Running Start student at Clark College, in Vancouver. While in high school, she used her paychecks for college application fees and applied to almost every college in Washington. But when she visited the campus with her parents, she decided UW Tacoma was her first choice.

“I liked the smaller campus feel. I knew I’d be able to have better relationships with my professors and more opportunity to be involved in the community,” said Jones.

She entered UW Tacoma in autumn 2016 right out of high school, and by spring of 2017 had sophomore standing because of her Running Start credits. She reports liking all of her courses so far and appreciates her professors and the whole major. “It’s always what I wanted to do,” she said, mentioning that television crime shows influence her aspirations.

Jones will be the first among her close family members to complete a bachelor’s degree. After that, she hopes to stay within the University of Washington community and attend law school at UW. She’s most interested in criminal law, but doesn’t yet know whether she’ll ultimately choose to work in prosecution or defense.

She said because her family is not without resources to contribute to college costs, paying for school has been “a little bit of a heavy shovel,” and loans are part of the picture.

“I’ve had to look hard for scholarships,” she said.

This year Jones joined the Criminal Justice League, a UW Tacoma registered student organization, as a route to becoming more active in the community.

Written by: 
Jamie Martin-Almy / November 20, 2017
Media contact: 

John Burkhardt, UW Tacoma Communications, 253-692-4536 or