18 Under 18 Highlight: Chris Whitmeyer
In our Junior Achievement 18 Under 18 recipients series, we’re next highlighting Chris Whitmeyer. This young man is passionate about serving people and is committing his life to doing so. Read on the hear why he was selected as an inaugural Junior Achievement 18 Under 18!
Chris Whitmeyer, Queen Creek High School, Queen Creek 17 years old
When Christopher has an idea, he not only completes it – he also finds people to work with him. A senior at Queen Creek High School, Christopher is enrolling in the Fire Science program at Mesa Community College to become a firefighter.
“Ever since I was a kid, I’ve wanted to help people,” he said. “You always need someone to lean on. I figured, why not be that person to fulfill that purpose?”Christopher’s mission is personal. As a child, he couldn’t look to his father as a positive role model. He wanted to live an honorable life of service. As part of his Eagle Scout project, Christopher organized a blood drive for Queen Creek. He planned it, advertised it, and scheduled appointments – requiring a second trailer to show up. He ended up collecting 106 percent more than his goal.“I put a lot of years into scouting, and it meant a lot to see all our donors show up that day,” he said.
He’s also getting other students interested in firefighting. As a participant in the EVIT Fire Science program, Christopher leads a high school squad that is in training to become professional firefighters. “I’ve always looked at firefighters as those who help people out the most,” he said. “I’m looking forward to being one of those people.”
What do you want to be doing in 10 years? Hopefully, I’ll be well accomplished with my job, and well established in the department. I won’t be a newcomer anymore, and I’ll be starting a family.
Who’s your biggest inspiration? Two people – my mom and my granddad. My mom always showed me that hard work will get you far. My granddad showed me about responsibility and taking care of your family.
What’s the best advice you’ve received? Never stop learning, keep training and keep learning. In the fire service, it’s always changing. You always have to be learning.