Name: Jmar Akai Montgomery
College: California State University Los Angeles
Major: BS - Mechanical Engineering
Highlights: CSULA's Early Entrance Program (EEP), National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), Engineering Computer Science &Technology Student Council, Pi Tau Sigma Mechanical Engineering Honor Society, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc
About Jmar: I am the youngest Engineer in my field for over 2 years. I started college at 14, and graduated Class of 2008 with my Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering at the age of 19. I was accepted into CSULA’s highly exclusive Early Entrance Program, (EEP), which allowed me to start college at a young age. While in college, I served in many capacities and was a member of numerous organizations. Graduating early was a great accomplishment but came with some adversity, my age proved to be an obstacle for me in the academic and professional world. I was competing with his peers, who were at least 4 yrs older than me, and vying for their respect to be recognized as their peers. I learned that through hard work and professionalism, people would see my young age, not as a detriment, but as an asset to innovative thinking; and would see me not for my age, but for my work.
I'm currently studying for the Professional Engineering exam to become a licensed engineer in California. This license will allow me to achieve my goal of opening my own engineering consultation firm. This firm will not only provide consultation services, but also contract design and rapid prototyping services to small to medium sized business that do not have these capabilities. The idea of opening a consulting firm came from my father, who at one point, owned a successful screen shop and held a contractor’s license. My dad always said that 'it is better working for and paying yourself, than to have someone else dictate what you should be paid'. After working for the government, I see exactly what he meant. Also, while achieving this goal, I've applied for the Fall 2011 semester to various graduate mechanical engineering programs to specialize in either nanotechnology or fluid dynamics. I believe that an advanced academic foundation will better ensure a strong entrepreneurial future.
In the midst of my career and academic goals I try to maintain a healthy personal life as I am a student pilot working on obtaining my private pilot’s license, with a future goal of obtaining my commercial pilot’s license. Also, I'm an avid shooter who plans to start shooting competitively in various shooting matches in California.
What is your life's mission?
I feel that my mission in life is to be a man that people look to for consultation. I believe that the only way to become cultured through life’s experiences is to not only network with others, but also understand their perspective on life. I want to always be accessible, in one form or another, so that if people need my help, I am there with an open ear and/or wise words. I am on the road to excellence and want to share the map with others along the way.
What does being a black man mean to you?
Being black means pursuing excellence in every endeavor and being disciplined enough to complete the task. It means operating with integrity and honor so that no one has a valid reason to NOT respect you in your field. It means extending a hand, arm, leg, torso etc. to those who need your help and going the extra distance to make sure that your people succeed. I wouldn’t have made it as far as I have if was not for those who went out of their way to help me, and it is only necessary that I do the same for those who come after me. I have come to realize that having a good relationship with God has been the foundation for all of my successes; while, not utilizing the knowledge and wisdom of others as the culprit for my failures. Being black means understanding that the playing field isn’t fair, but never using that as an excuse to not give your best. What they would call excellent, I call my average; I always have to set my bar higher and higher
"What they call excellent, I call average; I always have to set my bar higher and higher"