Once it was determined that this would be the young man that would be highlighted in this blog entry I had heard so much about him that I almost felt like it was an exaggeration. Until I read his responses to my questions and found it exceptionally hard to follow up his responses with anything other than…..his responses. To hear a young man living in Bedford Stuyvesant tell you that he not only receives a subscription to the Wall street Journal but that he also had reprimand them due to their tardy delivery of his reading publication was a different stroke altogether. Obviously Young And Brilliant has discussed several extraordinary people on this very blog and they have all brought something different to the table that we felt made them unique enough that what they were doing would with their life should be put out there for others to see how brilliant it is to be walking your own path and to do it with confidence.
As I write this entry just days after this young man’s 15th birthday I become even more intrigued. Born an only child Garrett Collins grew up in a household that allowed exactly what we stand for at Obviously Young And Brilliant; an environment that promotes self-esteem, confidence dignity and pride and allowed a young man to develop knowing that he would be an exceptional human being although all he was doing was growing up. This is evident by his appreciation for Victorian architecture and the architecture of the limestone and brownstone buildings of NYC. Getting ready to complete his freshman year of high school Garrett teaches not tutors his peers in French on weekends. In his words “it’s a beautiful language that should be spread and it opens my students to the world’s languages of democracy and business.” So enough from my perspective I will let you read for yourselves how our conversation went:
1. Birthday, school grade, what type of student is garrett. Where are you from? How did you grow up?
My birthday is 4 April 1998. I’m in the 9th grade. I am an A student. My family is from all over the world. I appear black but my features show my family’s diversity. However, most of my family is from the Caribbean. I grew up in a household in which I could learn anything I wanted to learn. For example one of my interests is architecture especially Victorian architecture and the brownstones and limestone’s of NYC.
2. What is your interest in teaching French?
I enjoy teaching French because I think its a beautiful language that should be spread. It also opens my students to world’s language of democracy and business.
3. Speak about your experience with the Steve Harvey program
A couple weeks ago, I attended the Disney Dreamer’s Academy. The Academy was one of my lives most inspirational moments. The resources we had, the access to leaders in all career path, and the powerful things we learned there. It was so wonderful to be in an environment where we all have an idea about what we want to do in our lives. Contrary to a common belief, even though I go to a private school most children try to get good grades and do certain to please their parents instead of chasing after something they want to do. Also, it was great to be around people that supported you in your goals.
4. Talk about how you ended up on wall street sitting in on business deals for spring break.
This spring break I spent a week at Lazard Asset Management. In July, I had written a letter to the company’s CEO and he was so taken back by it he told me to come into his office a month later. During the meeting he invited to spend a week at his company and shadow different people.
5. Speak about your issue with the wall street journal delivery
In August I had begun a subscription to the Wall Street Journal. I had noticed that each day the paper was arriving around 10 o’clock. I told myself that this is ridiculous, if someone’s job depended on reading this paper and they didn’t get they couldn’t perform well. So I called the Wall Street Journal and asked them to make sure that my deliveries’ would be at my doorstep before 7am. And now, I get at 6:30am each day.
6. What makes you different in your opinion from the average teenager.
I find myself to be different from the average AMERICAN teenager. In our country, most people don’t know what they want to be in life until they are 20 due to our education system. In most other countries by my age (15) you would have a sense of what subject area you would like to focus in and by 16 a career path. So in an AMERICAN sense I differ because I know what I want to be when I’m older; in all other ways I’m your average teenager. But in a global perspective, I’m completely like the rest.
7. What are your hobbies?
I play soccer, tennis, and baseball. I enjoy following basketball as well but can’t play.
8. tell us something interesting about garrett that most people don’t know
I completely understand the stock market.
9. What college are you interested in attending?
I have many colleges I’m looking at… so I’ll just give you the whole list. Yale, UPenn, McGill, London School of Economics, Oxbridge (Oxford and Cambridge), Northwestern, Duke, UChicago, Stanford, Harvard.
10. Where do you see yourself in the future? Doing what?
In the future I see myself as a business leader. I’ll probably start out in investment banking since that can open so many doors to the business world. However, if the numbers scare me off I’ll go into the closely related field of corporate law.
11. Speak about your experience with getting to hang around a local politician after a letter you wrote?
Congressman Towns has been my mentor since 2010. The congressman has helped me understand our nation’s government. Mr. Towns has also taught me how to make it and succeed in your dreams.
We felt it was very important to allow for the format change in this blog entry as we believed that it showed how authentic it is when we write these blog entries. To see that these are direct responses not elaborated or paraphrased by the writer. To hear a gentleman at his age speak so exactly and focused with global perspective. Let’s you know that his parents have definitely beat us to the punch in making sure there son knew he was Obviously Young and Brilliant from the beginning. At this point I’m certain that this young man doesn’t see any other way of life as an option. In a society where being who you are and pursuing things that interest you but may not be what is popular amongst your peers and the safety of just fitting in is the most chosen path of young folks. We find a young man from Bedford Stuyvesant in Brooklyn who says that he is going to go northwest and follow his own navigation when everyone is going either North South East or West to stay the standard course. #OYAB is Garrett Collins