Jimmie Harris would count himself incredibly blessed. He was born to a single mother who recognized the importance of an education and gave everything she had to make sure that he too understood that education was the key to a happy and successful life. From an early age he can remember taking “vacations” to local science centers, art galleries, and history museums. Immersed as he was, education soon became a part of his life and, as he grew, he found himself seeking out more and more opportunities to learn. This desire truly bloomed when he entered high school and discovered that he was passionate about science and engineering. He realized that he was no longer confined to seek out other opportunities that were already established, but, could instead create his own. With that in mind, he began working with both teachers and students to help create a wide range of after school programs, such as rollercoaster and trebuchet constructing competitions.
If asked who his role model in life was, Jimmie would tell you without hesitation that it was his mom. Growing up, it was always just the two of them. He knew that she was the one person that would be there for him and always keep his best interests at heart, no matter what. She taught him, through example, to be strong, determined, energetic, kind, and honest. However, the most valuable lesson she ever taught him was that everyone can make a difference and no matter how big or how small, that difference mattered. She taught him that every drop counts. With this in mind, he always sought ways to help others and change their lives for the better. He volunteered to teach children at his local church, actively participated in community service organizations at his school, and became president of his National Honor Society.
The achievements he is most proud of however, are those that combined his two favorite things: learning and service. The most prominent would be FIRST Robotics. He helped begin the program, with the hope of learning more about robots and how they function. Little did he know how encompassing and massive FIRST would become. FIRST is not only about building a robot, but strongly values gracious professionalism and making your community a better place. Students are able to work hand and hand with mentors and professionals from the engineering field and gain valuable life lessons. Beyond the advantages to students in the program, he also used it as a stepping platform to gain momentum and build other similar programs for younger children. He was able to help start a VEX competition team for freshman and sophomores and a Lego robotics league in his middle school.
Seeing the effects that he has had on his community, reaffirms his mom’s maxim that every drop matters and drives him to continue collecting drops until the ocean is full.