Professional golfer Tiana Jones accepts Pathfinder Award in Alliance
ALLIANCE − Tiana Jones has found success and respect on the golf course.
Jones, a 31-year-old Alliance High graduate, accepted the school district's 2023 Pathfinder Award on Friday during a ceremony at the high school.
The annual award is given to an alumnus or community member who has found success in education, citizenship, government, arts, science, humanitarianism or business.
More:Alliance native, 'Black 14' member receives Alliance City Schools' 2022 Pathfinder Award
Jones, a professional golfer, is a professor and head coach of men's and women's golf programs at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore in December.
"Golf created a path for me to find myself, as well as to be able to understand where the challenges are, to provide the next generation opportunities," said Jones, who graduated in 2010 from Alliance High.
Golf builds bridges
Friday's assembly included a Q & A session led by the students from the school's 99th Squadron leadership program, including senior Gabrielle Hill.
Hill called Jones a "great example" for young black women for chartering a future.
"She gives a great example of different pathways, especially non-traditional ones," Hill said.
In 2009, Jones became the first black female to win a golf state championship. She attended South Carolina State University, and won the PGA Minority Colleague Championship, as well as other trophies, in 2012.
For her, Jones said golf has created a path for her to earn respect, make connections between other professions and cultures. "Even the smartest person can be humbled," she said.
Jones told students that golf taught her to pay attention to detail, be disciplined, be committed, have integrity and never take shortcuts in life.
"You have to commit mentally, physically and emotionally in golf. You can't second guess yourself. It is just you. You don't have a team," she said.
Continuing, Jones said shortcuts are "easy" but they fail you when it is time to produce. "Because you won't know where to start or what to do."
More:Alliance Schools recognizes its four Pathfinders
The Pathfinder recipient is chosen from a list of nominees by a district committee.
Elayne Dunlap, an Alliance City Schools Board of Education member, sits on the Pathfinder committee, and she said the chosen nominee fills a form and commits to the annual assembly.
Last year's recipient was 'Black 14' member Lionel Grimes.
Dunlap said the Pathfinder committee will start work on next year's recipient soon.
During Friday's event Alliance High School's Social Justice Team highlighted the efforts of human rights activist Ella Baker, and the Alliance High School choirs performed "Ella's Song," which details the leader's efforts in the civil rights movement.
Reach Benjamin Duer at 330-580-8567 or email@example.com. Follow on Twitter @bduerREP.
This article originally appeared on The Repository: Golfer Tiana Jones named Alliance's 2023 Pathfinder Award winner