18 Under 18 Highlight: Rocco Gump
In our Junior Achievement 18 Under 18 recipients series, we’re next highlighting Rocco Gump. He’s an all-around Allstar – both an accomplished athlete and student, while also being a servant to his community. Rocco is another JA Alum and one of our JA Young Ambassadors. Read on the hear why he was selected as an inaugural Junior Achievement 18 Under 18!
Rocco Gump, Seton Catholic Preparatory High School, Chandler 14 years old
A freshman at Seton Catholic Prep, Rocco quickly established himself as someone who values community service.
“Service is a big part of my life,” Rocco said. “I volunteer for Maggie’s Place, which is an organization that helps mothers who can’t support themselves and their baby.”
Rocco has prepared monthly dinners at Maggie’s Place, while also building and designing a garden for the residents of Elizabeth House. His entrepreneurial spirit – seeing the need for a garden, coming up with the plan and implementing something sustainable for residents – caught the attention of community leaders. Rocco also realizes that leadership involves inclusion. While he can comfortably participate in a project or compete on a team, Rocco makes a point to bring other people into the process.
What do you want to be doing in 10 years? I’m really attracted to business and entrepreneurship. I plan on getting a business degree, majoring in economics or small business management. I see myself owning a small business or being an entrepreneur, coming up with an idea and building off it.
Who’s your biggest inspiration? My dad and my mom are inspirations. He’s always there for me and he’s a leader. He has the quality that a leader has. He leads by example, he respects everybody, and with that he’s respected. He has a really good work ethic and that really inspires me. My mom is a leader also. She’s always the one who sticks up for people who can’t stick up for themselves. She’s the one who’s always there for me, always helping me.
What’s the best advice you’ve received? One of my golf coaches told me to be the same person when someone’s looking at you as when they’re not. It’s easy to behave when someone’s watching you. It’s easy to slack off when someone’s never watching. And that’s the best advice I’ve ever gotten.