Don’t be surprised if Prescott Jefferson is running long after his track and field days are over. South Carolina’s junior sprinter recently enjoyed a summer internship at the Governor’s office, and while he aspires to become a lawyer, he wouldn’t rule out running for public office someday.
“Ten years from now, I could possibly see myself in a public office role,” said Jefferson, who is majoring in criminal justice and hopes to go to law school at South Carolina as well. He interned in the Legislative Policy and Budget Affairs office under Director of Legislative Affairs Sym Singh. “It depends on what else I’m doing at the time and the circumstances at the time. If anything, this internship made me more interested in politics. Before I got the job, I had always told myself that I didn’t want anything to do with anything politically oriented. Seeing how hard our legislators work was a fantastic experience.
“I felt very fortunate to be able to work at the Governor’s office. Not everybody gets to do that. I don’t take that for granted, and I’m very thankful to everyone I had a chance to work with.”
More than anything, Jefferson enjoyed seeing governmental processes in action for the betterment of the community.
“Every voice deserves to be heard, That’s another thing I’m passionate about.”
“I wasn’t just in the Legislative office,” Jefferson said. “I worked at the front desk, talking with constituents who walked up and had questions. I set up for bill signings and got to see some of those bill signings. It’s really fun! I was there when they signed the fentanyl trafficking bill. That was a big one. Hearing from some of the families that were impacted by that, and how grateful they were to have that bill passed, it definitely opens your eyes. I didn’t realize how much of that is out there. The boater safety bill was another huge one as well.
“I went to different legislative meetings, including meetings about the spending budget. So, I got to see how a lot of that worked. The Order of the Palmetto ceremony was a great thing as well. There were a lot of South Carolina graduates there, so we had the chance to talk about sports a lot, too!”
The Columbia native became interested in the law after a trip to the Fifth Judicial Circuit Solicitor’s Office when he was in high school and has expressed interest in becoming a civil rights attorney.
“Every voice deserves to be heard,” Jefferson said. “That’s another thing I’m passionate about.”
Now that school is back in session, Jefferson hung up his suit and has his running shoes back on. He started running track in the seventh grade and enjoys every aspect of being a student-athlete at South Carolina.
“I love that you can walk into a grocery store wearing Gamecock stuff that says track and field, and people want to come up and talk to you,” Jefferson said. “You just strike up conversations with people. I love that.
“I’m excited for this year on the track, too. When I heard about the hiring (of new track and field head coach Tim Hall), I was off the wall with excitement because I know what he’s done as a coach, not just in the SEC, but with professionals. One of the first things he said to the team when he met with us was, ‘I know what winning looks like, and I’m looking at it.’ That gets people motivated, and the staff that he hired are all proven winners.”
In addition to success on the track, Jefferson is fully immersed in the student-athlete experience as a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
“S.A.A.C. is important because it provides a voice for student-athletes to the administration,” Jefferson said. “It’s also important for things like community service outreach. Through S.A.A.C., we have things like Sandstorm Buddies where we go to the Children’s Hospital to visit kids, or we got to local elementary schools and connect with the kids there. Being involved and showing your face in the community is important.”
Jefferson’s interests are earnest, and while he’s not serving others for political capital, there may be a future in his serving the community through public office.
“That may be in the cards someday,” Jefferson said with a smile.