"No Researchers Allowed"
Imagine growing up in a community that was accustomed to researchers seeking their participation and making certain promises if they agreed to participate. Being told that if they participated, their data would change the community. These promises were rarely fulfilled. This was Kevin Jones' reality. This was the bitter truth that inspired him to enter the research field to become that change he wanted to see.
Mr Jones received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan (Go Blue!) and a Master of Education from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. He also received a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Pennsylvania.
Currently, he is the Chief of Programs for the DC Promise Neighborhood Initiative (one of 18 Promise Neighborhoods funded by the Department of Education to create cradle to college/career pathways in areas of concentrated poverty). Two years ago he initially came on board to serve as the Director of Data and Evaluation, developing performance measurement systems to track individual and program level outcomes and measure program effectiveness. His ambition and expertise allowed him to excel and move into senior leadership.
As Chief of Programs, he is responsible for ensuring programs and strategies serve their highest goal to end multigenerational poverty in DC's Kenilworth-Parkside community. To accomplish this, he works closely with the Directors of Data and Evaluation, Education and Learning, and Family and Community Engagement Departments to ensure strategic alignment across functionalities and to ensure that programs and strategies are evaluated for impact.
Three years ago, Kevin joined Washington Evaluators to connect with DC's community of evaluators. As a new arrival to DC in 2012, it helped him get connected to DC socially and learn the local landscape through interactions with WE members. He also received an opportunity to visit manyDC neighborhoods, learn about the residents and strategies they desire for creating change in their communities. Today, he serves as Board Secretary.
Jones asserts "I've benefitted greatly from the WE trainings that I have attended...Additionally, participation with WE has helped me feel less isolated." Today, that isolation is gone and he's gaining new skills on how to manage more effectively Data and Evaluation teams, as well as individuals who are less familiar with evaluation tasks, goals and objectives. But most importantly, he is more focused on how to respectfully engage Black and Brown, LGBT and other underservedcommunities around research opportunities and careers in evaluation.
Like what you read? Connect with Mr Jones today! You can follow him on Twitter (@kevtrijones) or reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.