By Emily Bialkowski
It’s hard not to be touched by a recent video produced and uploaded to YouTube by Caledonia Area High School students in support of their classmate Julia Jones.
Jones lost her father, Jim Jones, on Jan. 16 to cancer and now lives in their Freeburg home alone. Jim Jones was raising Julia by himself and is featured in the video in pictures that show him holding his daughter as a baby and then smiling with her in recent years after a successful fishing charter.
Joy and pride are evident in each image, as is the new reality this 18-year-old is facing. The father-daughter pictures give way to photographs of Jones with her friends and recorded messages from them encouraging her in this difficult time.
“You are an amazing friend. I don’t know what I’d do without you,” one student recorded.
Another said, “We’ve had so many great times together.” Many simply said, “I love you.”
The sentiments give way to one last young man who sits nervously rubbing his hands together at a desk. “I know you’re going through a rough time, Julia,” he said before asking her to prom.
In addition to creating the video, the Student Council agreed to donate all the funds generated by Snow Week activities to Jones’ education fund.
The outpouring of support for this young lady has touched Caledonia’s staff and teachers.
“I’m proud of our students for putting this together,” Superintendent Ben Barton wrote in an email.
“When I told Julia that we would like to do a fundraiser for her, she said, ‘That’s OK, Mrs. Link, there are people who have it worse off than I do.’ I honestly cannot think of anyone more deserving than Julia,” Student Council Adviser Sue Link said.
Jones is an active student at Caledonia Area High School and participates in Student Council, band, One Act Play, the student musical and School Board. She’s also a familiar face at Quillin’s where she works. To help her education fund send a donation to Caledonia Area High School, Attn. Student Council, 825 Warrior Ave., Caledonia MN, 55921. Checks should be made out to Caledonia High School Student Council.
Watch her classmates’ video at: youtube.com/watch?v=342PyaoQIHA.