By Amalia Kortright, for the Tribune
TRUSSVILLE — Hewitt-Trussville High School graduate Tracia Jones has come a long way from her humble beginnings in Alabama. The 22-year-old model, actress, host and radio personality is currently balancing school and philanthropic work with her career.
Acting and modeling wasn’t originally part of Jones’ career plan. However, Jones had previously taken dance lessons and been involved in several plays produced her high school’s theater department. She also regularly watched America’s Next Top Model, which she says gave her pointers for her future career.
According to Jones, she and some friends were attending a fashion show in Atlanta when a designer, who was short a model, asked her to fill the position before the show started. She has since modeled for Mercedes Benz and in fashion week runway shows in Atlanta, New York and Los Angeles.
“I wasn’t modeling, but I had always thought about it,” said Jones. “I was nervous, but I did it, and I liked it.
Despite her original lack of interest in acting, Jones has gotten lots of acting experience within the past few years. She previously landed a role in a remake of Sleepless Nights, starring Jamie Foxx, which was her first major production. She will be seen in the upcoming movie True to the Game. She has also had roles in several TV shows, including “Real Husbands of Hollywood” and “Love & Hip Hop Atlanta.”
Jones is currently preparing for her role in the sequel to True to the Game. She also has plans to appear in a new reality TV series called “Hosting it in the ATL” and Fox 6 television show “Volume TV.”
She recently hosted on the red carpet at the Billboard Awards in Las Vegas, and will be traveling to Los Angeles soon to host at the 2016 BET Awards.
Jones also doubles as a radio personality on 99.9 The Plug Worldwide and a correspondent for Rollingout Magazine.
On top of her busy career, Jones is currently taking online classes at Troy University and is studying sports management and communications. She previously attended Jacksonville State University, but later transferred so she could more easily manage school work with her career. She expects to graduate in a year and a half, and hopes to one day be a successful sports agent and model, living in Los Angeles.
Jones also gives back to the community by serving as a volunteer mentor for high school girls in the Birmingham area. Her focus is on teaching young girls about modeling, etiquette, fashion, self-esteem and setting life goals. She is also working to create after school programs for youth all over the country.
While Jones is proud of her accomplishments, the road to success hasn’t always been easy.
“School is a big bump in the road. There are date conflicts. You have to step on some people’s toes to make other people happy,” said Jones. “Last year, I never thought that I would be in L.A., seeing Rihanna walk down the red carpet and being face to face with J-Lo’s choreographer. It’s mind blowing. I’m blessed for the opportunities. I’m thankful for it all.”