Community Activist, Educator, Counselor, Wife, Mother, Grandmother, and Author, these are just a few of the accolades attributed to Gloria D. Jones, PhD that could be all summed up into a single title of Trailblazer. A track of accreditations and professional designations follow her name like the many protégés she has nurtured throughout the course of both her professional career and her personal life
Gloria D. Jones was a licensed professional counselor with a Ph.D in Clinical Psychology from Capella University. She was a certified addiction counselor, a certified clinical supervisor in the state of Georgia and held credentialing as a certified national addiction counselor. Dr. Jones also obtained a Master of Arts degree from Webster College, and a B.A. in Psychology from Columbia University. Among her numerous titles is Executive Director of The Heritage Foundation Inc., Thomasville, Georgia. This highly regarded organization spawned from a community outreach program that Dr. Jones originally established to enlighten disenfranchised, primarily African-American youth about their rich cultural heritage. While working with the youth, she discovered a myriad of socio-economic and psychosocial issues that were deeply rooted in the fabric of the community. These issues were self-perpetuating, and detrimental to the youth as individuals, their family structure, and the community as a whole. In her daily role as the Executive Director of the Heritage Foundation, Inc., she was better able to directly influence change in the community through this multifaceted, non-profit organization, which was founded in 1989. Through her vision and her relentless determination to give back and to better the lives of hundreds of people, her organization has developed more than 10 treatment programs for addictive disorders, child and adolescent mental health services and prevention programs.
Dr. Gloria D. Jones was born on February 27, 1954 in Columbus Ohio. The product of a middle class upbringing, her mother a nurse and her father a postman; she was no stranger to a hardworking, often tumultuous home environment. Her father was a recovering alcoholic and this was her first exposure to addiction. She would learn later in life how meaningful that exposure would become in her practice as a leading therapist in her field of substance abuse counseling.
As the second of three daughters, Dr. Jones was the typical middle child, constantly on a quest to gain her own identity, even if it meant fighting for it. Having grown up in the midst of the civil rights movement her exposure to “fighting for what was right” was further bolstered by the rising popularity of the Black Power movement in the 1960’s. Her persistent journey to find herself and to question authority was under the constant scrutiny of her teachers and mentors. Her path was not to be measured by anyone else’s roadmap. While her more impressionable years we challenging for her in terms of her compliance to everyone else’s ideals, she thrived in academia and graduated high school a year in advance of her classmates. Gloria was well on her way to venture into the world on her own. She elected to attend a local college to pursue a degree in Physical Education.
Dr. Jones resided in rural South Georgia with her husband of 30+ years, Dr. Leon Jones PhD. In all, she has given birth to three children and has parented six other children with her husband giving her nine experiences as a mother and mentor. Still those numbers pale in comparison to the lives she touches on a daily bases through the HERITAGE FOUNDATION and its invaluable programs.