Missouri Connections

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Daphna Jones Spirit Award

Determination and hard work are important skills for students, especially nontraditional students. One student who epitomized these qualities is Daphna Jones. Daphna, an architectural drafting student at Jefferson College and a 2004 Breaking Traditions state award winner, died on October 4, 2004 . Daphna attended school despite suffering a stroke in February of 2002 and a heart attack in the summer of 2003. She was a single mother who worked full time and still found time to pursue her degree.

In class, Daphna worked with persistence, willpower and tenacity. She ranked in the top five percent of her class and served as a mentor and role model for the other students. Despite her health problems, Daphna did not ask for special treatment or help. The pursuit of her dream of being able to build things to give back to her community was why she continued attending classes despite the setbacks. All her life, she loved building things and it was her ultimate goal to use her talents to help others. While attending Jefferson College , Daphna had very high medical expenses. This forced her to sell her home and her car, but she continued to work toward her dream. Daphna was rewarded for her hard work with a Breaking Traditions state award. The recognition served as more motivation for her to succeed and boosted morale for both her and her family.

Despite all her struggles, Daphna had a delightful personality. Her instructors, counselors and fellow students agreed that she was very likeable. She showed incredible courage and was always willing to help anyone who needed it. In honor of Daphna, MCCE added an award to the Breaking Traditions contest. It is called the Daphna Jones Spirit Award. This award will be presented to a person who exemplifies the unbreakable spirit of Daphna, someone who has overcome undue hardships, braved harsh obstacles, stood courageously against troubles, and has had the tenacity to surpass all the odds. All Breaking Traditions applicants will be considered for the award. No special application is necessary.

Breaking Traditions Awards