Trent Jones ’06 and his mother, Lynette

What parent wouldn’t want something better for their child?

16866323388_31ec24bbcd_oLynette Jones has always been committed to her son Trent’s education. When he was in fifth grade, a co-worker encouraged Lynette to look into The Steppingstone Academy. After Lynette learned Steppingstone would support Trent through college graduation, she knew she had to seize the opportunity to give her son a better future.

For Lynette, seizing opportunities is also about helping others. “When you grasp an opportunity, you have to remember to put your hand back,” she says. And so, for nearly a decade, Lynette has worked as an Outreach Assistant for Steppingstone, helping to connect new families with the program.

“I know there are students out there who don’t have access to the resources Steppingstone provides,” says Lynette. “Some parents in Boston can’t do all that we’d like for our kids. As a free program, Steppingstone helps us give our children more.”

When Trent was accepted to Steppingstone, he joined what Lynette calls a “community of learners,” and his grades and confidence soared.

“It’s hard to imagine my life now without Steppingstone. I hope the program will always remain an option for kids who want to change their futures. There are few organizations that have such a direct impact on their community.” – Trent Jones ’06

Lynette and Trent at Trent's graduation from Belmont Hill School in 2013

Lynette and Trent at Trent’s graduation from Belmont Hill School in 2013

After 14 months of hard work, Trent enrolled at Belmont Hill School with a full scholarship. But, even with the rigorous preparation he received from Steppingstone, the transition to an independent school was difficult.

“When Trent first went to Belmont Hill he had this heavy backpack and was walking around a big campus he wasn’t used to—he was feeling lost,” remembers Lynette. “But Steppingstone was there for him; his Advisor would come and eat lunch with him and cheer him on at sporting events.”

“Belmont Hill was the challenge of a lifetime,” says Trent, “but I never hesitated to turn to my Steppingstone network when I had a question or challenge to overcome.”

Lynette also didn’t hesitate to reach out. When she saw Trent struggling in math, she picked up the phone. “All I had to do was call Steppingstone and Trent had a tutor that summer,” she says.

Now a sophomore at The George Washington University, Trent is well on his way to earning his college degree and beginning a successful marketing career. And both Trent and Lynette credit Steppingstone with helping him achieve such success.

“As much as I would have loved for Trent to go to college, I wouldn’t have been able to help him get there on my own,” reflects Lynette.

Today, as Lynette speaks with prospective Scholars and families, she remembers Trent as a fifth grader: shy, quiet, and ready for a challenge. “I see him now and he’s glowing,” she says. “Trent knows who he is and the path he’s on—he has all of this confidence and is accomplishing so much. I couldn’t be more proud.”

Posted 6/8/15