Siblings Graduate together from Paul D. Camp Community College May 15, 2015

Gabby and Travis JonesOn any given day, you may see Gabrielle “Gabby” Jones on her cell phone. More than likely, she isn’t talking with friends, but texting her brother, Travis.
“We text each other every day,” she said. The siblings have always been close and will in fact, graduate together from Paul D. Camp Community College on May 15.
“He is like my best friend,” said Gabby. “We have always said, ‘it is me and him against the world.’”
Gabby, 19, and Travis, 18, will each graduate from PDCCC with an Associate of Arts and Sciences degree in General Studies-General and a Certificate in General Education.
Gabby, a 2013 graduate of Lakeland High School, was accepted to Norfolk State, Old Dominion and Virginia State universities, however, she wasn’t sure what she wanted to study. Her mother, who works at PDCCC as Dean of Student Services, and father, encouraged her to think about attending the community college to satisfy pre-requisites while she figured out what career path she wanted to follow.
“I’m happy with my decision,” she said. “I wanted to go into hospitality management in the beginning since I also work at the Hilton Garden Inn, but now I actually want to go into social work.” She will graduate with honors from PDCCC.
Gabby plans to go into the ROTC at either ODU or VSU and become a licensed social worker in the Army. “It’s a very good plan,” she said, “and I like helping people.” She is a member of the Omega Zeta Chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society at PDCCC and babysits in addition to her other part-time job.
Travis, 18, is a dual enrollment student who will graduate with honors from Lakeland High School in June, after attaining his associate’s degree. His interest in pursuing this academic avenue was spawned from his dedication to excel.
“I realized during my freshman year that I couldn’t get valedictorian because I didn’t’ take all honor classes that year and my GPA wasn’t high enough,” said Travis. “One of my friends, who is in the Dual Enrollment Program, told me that I could begin the program as early as my sophomore year. I knew if I wanted to go to law school, there would be four more years of college, so I wanted to get a jumpstart on it.”
Travis participates in sports year-round, so whether he is wrestling, playing soccer or football, he still has to complete his assignments. “It is a struggle at times,” he admits, “but it has taught me to manage my time wisely.”
Travis is a member of the National Honor Society and the Rho Kappa National Social Studies Honor Society. In addition, he volunteers at the Salvation Army through a friend’s church. He served two years in ROTC.
“It’s exciting to have your degree before some of your friends. It’s a good program, but you have to be ready to work.”
Travis plans to earn his bachelor’s degree in Psychology before heading to law school. Averett University is his top choice for his baccalaureate studies, since he likes the academic and football programs there. They have also offered him a $13,000 scholarship. Bridgewater College and Ferrum College, which have offered more than $25,000 and $16,000, respectively in scholarships, are also on his list of potential schools.
“We have had some of the same assignments, so we help each other along the way, but we always compete, too,” said Gabby. “We try to see who’s smarter. I say it’s me, and then he says, ‘but, who’s graduating from high school and with a college degree?’”
Gabby and Travis were both selected to represent PDCCC at the Virginia General Assembly in 2014 and are members of Palm Tree Baptist Church in the Whaleyville borough of Suffolk. Gabby participates in praise dance and Travis plays drums. The brother and sister were students in the first class at True Gospel Ministries Christian Academy before attending public school.
Asked if the siblings’ relationship will affect where they look for jobs after school, they both agreed that it wouldn’t matter, because of their strong bond.
Travis said, “I’m ready to go where the job opportunity takes me. I’m prepared for anything.”
Rest assured, no matter where Travis and Gabby end up residing after college, they will still be sending each other messages of friendly sibling rivalry.