Southwest Georgia Roots

The Gaines and Jones families are deeply rooted in the red clay and pine trees of Cusseta, Camilla, and Albany, Georgia.

The Gaines-Jones Education Foundation (GJEF) is a private nonprofit organization (501C3) founded in 2001 by Anita Jones Roehrick and husband Robert M. Roehrick — of Northern California — in memory of Anita’s, sister, mother, and father: Dr. Betty Jean Jones, Mrs. Irene Gaines Jones, and Mr. Silas J. Jones.

Our Mission

GJEF is dedicated to contributing resources and ideas to education and mentoring youth. We do this mainly  through annual college scholarships to African-American high school seniors who meet the criteria set by the GJEF board of trustees; and by mentoring a teen board of directors—Positive Impulse. We train them in leadership for the next generation of philanthropy through our partnership with Freida C. Fox Foundation and Youth Philanthropy Connect.

To date, GJEF has awarded over $180,000 in scholarships and discretionary grants to 92 African-American high school seniors, and a diverse group of individuals and organizations in Southwest Georgia and the San Francisco Bay Area.