Cameron M. Smith

Hometown – Indianapolis, IN
Undergrad – Vanderbilt University
Major/Academic Interest – Mechanical Engineering

Cameron Smith was born and raised in Indianapolis, IN. He is the only child of two working class parents. He saw his parents work long hours yet continue to live very frugally. Even after their separation, Cameron learned the value of determination and toughness. He picked up on their incredible drive. Coming from an inner-city family with low incomes and absence of higher education, Cameron is the first to attend a private school and aspires to one day be the first with a Masters or Doctorate degree. His family is important to him and had significant influence on his life. From his grandparents, Cameron learned to be confident and take charge in the face of struggles. His maternal grandmother taught him to be sure of himself and to prevail in spite of a sea of troubles. After a cop broke her hip and caused a stroke, Cameron saw how strong her spirit really was. He pushed her wheelchair and loaded it to the car and spent up to 4 days a week visiting her at the nursing home. His grandfather on his dad’s side was an important role model. Growing up black in during a period of blatant racism and discrimination he could endure a lot. He instilled in Cameron strong faith and discipline. He too embodied toughness as he spent his entire life working at a Ford factory and later survived being sent to hospice following a stroke. Although both have now passed, Cameron still aims to make them proud.

Cameron is intelligent, kind, and hard-working. A dependable friend and curious student, he also possesses tremendous leadership ability and is active in his community with service and volunteering. His personal values are sound and well-considered and he sets an example of thoughtfulness and civility that others seek to emulate.

Academically Cameron works very hard to succeed and take responsibility for his education and self-betterment. During high school he took 9 AP courses and scored 4’s and 5’s on all of his tests. Even with a rigorous class schedule he consistently earned academic distinction or honor roll with his impressive grade point average. He engages in the classroom and contributes to the learning environment.

In addition to excelling academically, Cameron has developed the ability to lead through extracurricular activities and work experience. He served as captain of the football team. He passed on the toughness, grit and discipline he had learned to the other players by being a strong example on the field, and teaching and encouraging them. His dedication was recognized when he was honored to receive his school’s Crown Award that is given to scholar athletes for academic achievement coupled with outstanding leadership in athletics. For his first job at the age of fifteen, he worked for Keep Indianapolis Beautiful Inc. maintaining and caring for local trees and parks. He was quick to take initiative for the daunting work of watering and mulching hundreds of trees in a hot summer day. A Trainer at White Castle, he regulated the floor and instructed new workers. He learned the value of teamwork and how to get team members focused on a common goal. Last summer he worked in the maintenance department at Park Tudor School during a major renovation on the campus. Good-natured and unflappable no matter the circumstance, Cameron took the heavy lifting of furniture in stride and never lost his grace and humility though the work was grueling and the pace was intense.

Cameron will take his talents and lessons with him into college and then career. He will continue to lead and take initiative and not stop educating and improving himself. Cameron will do what he can to contribute a positive impact on the community.