18 Under 18 Highlight: Maximus Smith

Posted in: 18 Under 18, Alumni Stories, JA Impact

Have you heard about our amazing Junior Achievement 18 Under 18 recipients? We are highlighting them throughout the next several months, beginning with a JA Alum, Maximus, who participated in our JA BizTown program in 5th grade. Maximus has inspired many peers and adults with his young accomplishments and personality.

We are honored to recognize him. Read on the hear why he was selected as an inaugural Junior Achievement 18 Under 18!

Maximus Smith, ASU Preparatory Academy, Mesa, 16 years old

Maximus is proving quickly that he’s an inventor at heart. When he sees a problem – cultural, societal, structural – he wants to find a solution and change the world. To address police-involved shooting deaths, Maximus developed a prototype for a non-lethal weapon for law-enforcement agencies. After presenting the idea at his school, and then again at a larger competition, he won. The prize included patent-filing fees as well as consultation with a patent attorney. He expects to submit the patent later this summer.

While Maximus’ invention is still in a prototype phase, the competition has inspired him to continue creating and formulating ideas – it’s probably no surprise that he taught himself calculus during the summer of 2017. He founded the 3D printing club at ASU Preparatory Academy and also is part of FOG (Fellowship of Gear), a community robotics team. Maximus also volunteers in the community, focusing much of his time related to causes that address food insecurity. He helps the Mountain View Family Church’s food bank, serves meals at Paz de Cristo, packs meals for Feed My Starving Children and volunteers at the Salvation Army warehouse.

What do you want to be doing in 10 years? Running a company that’s centered around developing weaponry for law enforcement and the military, as well as other technologies that would benefit humanity.

Who’s your biggest inspiration? My biggest inspiration is Jesus Christ because he inspired me to do all these different things.

What’s the best advice you’ve received? I’ve received a lot of advice, so I can’t pick just one thing. I’d say the most important pieces of advice are don’t hesitate, don’t get infatuated, be focused and to maintain consistency.

Meet the other recipients