Monday, February 14, 2011

Jmar Akai Montgomery

Name: Jmar Akai Montgomery

Age: 22

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"

Contact Jmar:


  1. A strong, educated, successful black man. That is exactly what he is and I am proud to say that I know him!

    I love the fact that even though it was tough being the "youngest" in the group, you did NOT let that hold you back. Keep on pushing Akai, your future holds no limits!

  2. There were very specific quesions asked and I was instructed not to get too detailed into my personal life. I find it surprising that you would make a comment like this that would attempt to defame my character and reputation. Furthermore, it is not appreciated that the personal details of my life were brought up in this manner, given that you know enough to comment, you also know that I am a very involved Father. Once again, this feature was to highlight my professional and academic accolades, but apparently from ur comment, others don't understand the concept of separating their professional life from their personal life.

  3. It's very nice to see young, successful, black men. Congratulations on everything you've accomplished. Although it's apparent that others would rather denigrate your character & reputation, you can not let their senseless actions deter you from your path of success. This nonsensical act will not be the last attack against you, there will be more. For some reason, people can never be happy for anyone else, and would rather see them fall before they congratulate them. It's clear that this article was meant to highlight your professional achievements, therefore, your personal life should have never been addressed. Please continue to be the strong, black man that many have had the opportunity to know & love.

  4. Jmar you are truly an inspiration. Continue to be the beacon of light that drives those around you toward excellence. It's unfortunate that anyone would attempt to completely traduce your character buy suggesting such vast inaccuracies. Perhaps they should have made note that this is a not a biographical piece, but a spotlight series meant to highlight (briefly cover) black men and women in business (not parenting nor relationships). What's apparent is the perpetuation of a culture of in-fighting and senselessness driven by the need to tear eachother down. Perhaps we shouldn't be so eager to spread negativity, especially in a forum so inappropriate as this, which is meant to uplift aspiring black professionals. Jmar continue to persevere. These criticisms will never cease but as long as you continue to walk in faith, neither will your blessings.

  5. I'm just seeing this and have to tell you I'm proud of all you've accomplished. What's great is that you've accomplished so much in such little time. You are going to influence and change lives. We'll have to talk soon.