December Volunteer Spotlight – Sharon Jones, ACP

NALA Volunteer Spotlight – December 2023
Sharon Jones, ACP

Sharon Jones, ACP, is a legal assistant for Gray Reed in Houston, Texas. She was recently elected to the position of Affiliated Associations (AA) Director on NALA’s Board of Directors. Prior to her current position, Sharon served for two years as Affiliated Associations Secretary. Sharon has associate degrees in paralegal studies and mid-management.

Sharon has been a NALA member since 2010 and was ready to serve when the Affiliated Associations Secretary position became available.

“I had been preparing myself to serve, and the opportunity came two years ago with the Affiliated Associations. It ended up being a great opportunity to serve.”

Sharon thoroughly enjoyed her time as AA Secretary. When her term ended, she decided she wanted to continue serving NALA’s Affiliated Associations.

“After serving for two years as Secretary, I thought I would try for at least a year to see how I could give back in the Director’s position. I want to continue to work alongside the Affiliated Associations and be their voice and representative to ensure their needs are met as they continue to develop and grow.”

As a NALA volunteer, Sharon enjoys the team she serves with.

“My favorite part is the camaraderie in our team meetings. Getting to know each other has been great. I have met and served with a great group of people.”

Once she was a NALA member, Sharon knew she could develop her career by becoming certified. Her journey was long. She dreaded taking the test and put it off for years. She joined four study groups but still did not feel ready. Finally, the study group leader in Florida told her she needed to submit her application so she would be committed.

“Once I submitted my application and paid my fees,” Sharon said, “I was all in. It was a long, but rewarding, journey.”

Sharon became a Certified Paralegal (CP®) in 2014 and earned her ACP® in Trial Practice in 2015.

Since Sharon has been a NALA member for over a decade, she knows there is a lot to love about NALA membership.

“I love the educational and leadership opportunities that NALA gives you. I love conference. It is one of my favorites. Getting to know people from across the nation has been amazing. I have developed great friendships that have lasted for years.”

Her advice to NALA members is to stay engaged, get active, and find an area you would like to serve in.

When she is not working or serving with NALA, Sharon is an avid volunteer. She serves as Recording Secretary for Angels Surviving Cancer, Inc. and volunteers with a couple of nonprofit organizations that serve Houston’s homeless community. In September, she rode 200 miles in her fourth year for the Great Cycle Challenge, “Riding to Fight Kids’ Cancer.”

In October, for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Sharon walked 50 miles for Surviving Breast Cancer, clocked 168,000 steps for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, and participated in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 5K. She loves traveling and has been to Australia, Dubai, Greece, South Africa, Belize, and Honduras. Her favorite pastime is hanging out and eating out with her family. She loves good music and line dancing.

“I have been married to my wonderful husband, Donald, for 41 years. We are still head over heels, like when we first met. I am really grateful and thrilled as we celebrate each year together. It is even more special since we faced my breast cancer journey. I am a 5-year breast cancer survivor this month.”

They were selected and featured in February 2023 for Fort Worth’s Park Hill Fine Art Portraits “Legacy of Love” project. In April 2023, Sharon became the co-author of a book collaboration, “Save The Girlz Making Impact,” which was released on Amazon. That same month, she was featured in Voyage Houston magazine’s Daily Inspiration column.

In 2021, she was selected as one of five breast cancer survivors, out of more than 200, to be a Dallas Cowboys Star Survivor. She also received a Keep A Breast Give Back Grant. She participated in the Susan G. Komen Center for Public Policy: Stand Up, Speak Up training and Susan G. Komen Health Initiative Stand for H.E.R., where she received a certification as a Patient Navigator.

Sharon’s seasoned role model is the first attorney she worked for over 20 years ago. She is still a mentor and dear friend to Sharon. Another role model she had was a former attorney she worked for when she relocated to Houston, an amazing mentor and friend.

“I will cherish and am thankful for our friendship and that I had the opportunity to tell her the impact she had on my life and my progress in my paralegal career and leadership development.”

Sharon’s favorite quote is from Booker T. Washington. “Opportunities never come a second time, nor do they wait for our leisure.”

Sharon has been serving as NALA’s Affiliated Associations Director since July, after previously serving as the Affiliated Associations Secretary.

“Serving in the capacity of Affiliated Associations Director for these last few months has been exciting and a bit scary. I continue to grow in leadership and develop a better understanding of the needs of the affiliated associations. The support and encouragement I have received from fellow paralegals have been uplifting and motivating as I continue to focus on service in leadership. I could not do this alone and definitely not without the guidance and support that I am receiving!”