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Jones makes school history, receives full cheer scholarship

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Senior Eyonah Jones was in sixth grade when she started vomiting for no apparent reason. Now, seven years and one diagnosis later, Jones has fought through her medical issues and made history as the school’s first recipient of a full cheerleading scholarship.

Jones was diagnosed with cyclic vomiting syndrome in eighth grade, two years after first experiencing symptoms. Throwing up constantly, she was hospitalized for two weeks at Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare. When they couldn’t help her, she was transferred to University of Florida Health Shands Hospital. After two years of tests, doctors finally diagnosed Jones with CVS. Although she finally had a label for her symptoms, Jones still didn’t know the cause or when it would stop.

“Mostly I was shocked when the nurse told me. I didn’t really know what CVS was, so I kind of felt in the dark,” Jones said.

The same year she starting having symptoms of CVS, Jones started her cheerleading career. This year, she was seen competing at FHSAA Regionals and was offered a scholarship from Webber International University. The school is part of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics and competes in The Sun Conference. Jones was quick to accept the offer and filled out papers soon after she visited the campus.

“She is a great leader,” Coach Joanne Walker said. “Very straightforward and honest with her teammates, which is why she is well respected,” Coach Joanne Walker said.

Without this scholarship, Jones might not have gone to college at all. She is the first in her immediate family to pursue post-secondary education. Jones is planning to major in criminal justice management and minor in political science.

“I can finally see myself going places rather than just being stuck in Tallahassee. I want to experience more and learn more,” Jones said.

This past season, Jones led the competitive cheerleading squad all the way to the state finals, where the team placed fifth overall. Despite her medical struggles over the years, Jones was able to reach her goals high school and will now go on to achieve new goals in her post-secondary education.

“Be your best self [at] all times, not just because you don’t know who’s watching, but because it helps set you apart from the crowd,” Jones said. “There’s only one you.”

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Jones makes school history, receives full cheer scholarship