Thomas Jefferson

High School | Home of the Spartans

Service: It’s Just What He Does

Posted 04/29/2009 by Vince Crespin

Love for his country and love for others enables Carter to be fulfilled.

alex_smallStill just a sophomore, Alex Carter has immersed himself in many school organizations as well as giving his spare time to those around him who are in need of help.

Alex enjoys much of what normal teens like: cars, sports and especially movies. “I love movies. There’s something about just watching them… it’s like going to a different place. I especially enjoy action movies like The Fast and the Furious, but definitely my favorite movie and someone I hope to be like is Robert Neville (played by Will Smith) from I am Legend. I just thought it was amazing how he is so determined and motivated after everything went awry. Not to mention he was smart,” said Carter with an infectious grin.

What makes Carter stand out is the vast scope of his involvement. JROTC, Student Council, cross country, basketball and baseball are some things that Carter does while at school. “I am a sports fan so it’s just natural that I play them. The thing that I enjoy the most is how most sports make you come together as a team and focus on working together along with your teammates. With everything that I am involved in, that is a huge tool to be able to use; working with those around me, that’s probably why I enjoy basketball the most,” commented Carter.

Carter, a talented athlete in his own right, doesn’t just use sports for his own enjoyment; he also uses them to help others. Over the summer, Carter was staying with his Aunt and cousins who are both disabled, when he learned of an opportunity to volunteer and spend some quality time with his cousins. “My cousins are involved with a program for kids with special needs; it gives them a chance to interact with others and play sports. They need more kids on the team, and each team is allowed to have a few non-disabled kids. Since they are my cousins, it’s just nice to be able to help them and play with them,” said Carter.

Someone who has seen Carter in his role as a teammate, volunteer and student is TJ Photography Teacher Jeff Coleman. “Alex is a dedicated, patient and outstanding role model for the special athletes. He brings a cheerful competitiveness that benefits all who are around him,” said Coleman.

While Alex is volunteering his time serving others, he only has praise for the kids. “This is my first year doing it and it’s the best.  I love the fact that so many odds are against these kids to do the same stuff we do, yet we take it for granted. But these kids love every minute of it,” said Carter.

A well-decorated Cadet 2nd Lieutenant in JROTC, Carter works hard to stand out, and hopes one day that his extra efforts will pay off. “As of right now I am definitely considering the military as a strong possibility. I have the grades to go to college, but I just think that service for our country is something everyone should do. Without those people who protect us we wouldn’t be safe, or have the same freedom that this country gives us. Still, attending college is on my list of possibilities; but if I do go, I want to attend one of the military academies. West Point is the one I am really hoping to go to. Danny Showers introduced me to the head admissions counselor for the school, so I have an opportunity to go, but it won’t be easy.  The day before [she] came I wore some white socks with my uniform and Mr. Showers caught me and gave me a stern lecture, but luckily I was able to remember the proper attire for when she came,” said Carter with an embarrassed laugh.

Alex, although still young, knows exactly what he wants to do when he serves. “When I enlist I want to be a Combat Engineer. Those are the guys who disable mines in the field or repair tanks or choppers. They are basically the military handymen. They watch over everything and ensure the safety of the combat troops. It’s a tremendous responsibility but it’s a rewarding job when it’s done right,” said Carter.

JROTC Instructor 1st Sgt. Carl Gray feels that Carter has what it takes to achieve excellence. “Well, first of all he has a great hair cut. Besides that he has a lot of potential and is a leader in the making. He is a good guy, good personality and is well respected among his peers,” stated Gray.

From Cross Country in the fall to Baseball in the spring, or whether it’s serving the impaired or serving his country in the future, Carter does so with the hope of being the best he can be. “I never want to be less than I can be, and I always want to be remembered as a good guy. If I can accomplish that then I will consider my life a success,” said Carter.