Dontavius Jarrells ’10
State Representative, Ohio House of Representatives
Political Science Major
During his time at Hiram College, Dontavius Jarrells learned that his college journey could take him to new and interesting places beyond his community of Cleveland. Not only did the College’s unique academic schedule give him the time and opportunity to travel abroad, but he gained the insight and experience both in and out of the classroom that he needed to pursue his ambitions of serving his community. As a political science major and a Garfield Scholar, he learned about issues at a local, national, and global level. “Hiram’s real-world experiences helped shape my political identity,” says Jarrells. “As a political science major, Hiram provided me with an abundance of opportunities to see myself in rooms of political influence where policies are created.”
After graduation, he earned a fellowship with the Ohio Legislative Service Commission and worked at the Statehouse with the Democratic House Caucus. Jarrells wanted to help officials in his home state increase community support and outreach, a goal he was able to pursue further during his time at both the Ohio Association of County Behavioral Health Authorities and the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. Jarrells helped with advocacy efforts to expand Medicaid and led equity initiatives for the state’s behavioral health services.
More recently, Jarrells served as the chief of communications in the Franklin County Treasurer’s Office. In 2020, he was elected as state representative to the Ohio House of Representatives. One focus of his campaign was his continued push to increase access for all Ohioans to healthcare, resources for mental health, and addiction treatment. “As a state representative, I have the ability to influence laws and policies that touch the lives of Ohioans all across the state,” says Jarrells.