The first thing that strikes a spectator when he/she meets Jonathan Lovett is his polite and unassuming demeanor; they may say he is an ordinary guy.
Lovett’s hobbies are pretty run of the mill. He listens to music, plays video games, watches TV (“procrastinating is fun,” he remarks). He runs a decent 100 and 200-meter dash (10.68 and 22.00 seconds, respectively) in track.
But things get more interesting when one learns about his GPA; he has a 3.93.
At 17, Lovett is accomplishing feats typically reserved for juniors and seniors at the collegiate level.
Halfway through his first year, Lovett has been juggling responsibilities with both track and the demanding coursework of his major, chemical engineering.
According to the Web site for the Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, the work of a chemical engineer is to analyze, develop, design, control, construct, and/or supervise chemical processes.
Some may ask how he balances his time. Lovett said he uses a priority-based system, accomplishing the bigger tasks first.
“If I have a test on one day, I’ll study for that harder than I study for another test…and that’s worked out pretty well,” Lovett said. He summed it up in his simple manner of speaking, “Chemistry sucks, but everything else is okay.”
Lovett is no stranger to balancing athletics and schoolwork. He has been running track since the ninth grade, but still did well enough academically to earn a Life Gets Better Scholarship offer prior to his senior year.
“One day I was sitting in my class and I got called to the guidance office,” he remembers,”I thought something bad was about to happen because you know senior year (is full of) pranks and stuff.”
Of course, Florida A&M was not the only school looking for the young scholar.
Lovett also received acceptance offers everywhere from Bethune-Cookman University to private institutions like Williams College and Stanford University. The deciding factor became “the job opportunities” that were offered as part of his scholarship, and Lovett stands by his decision.
“I love FAMU,” Lovett said.
When asked about the source of his success, Lovett remained modest, crediting his parents for pushing him.
“My parents always just told me to do my best and whatever comes out,” Lovett said. “I’ve been able to do this well so far.”
In terms of the future, Lovett said he is undecided between engineering and medicine. He has considered medical school, but worries that he is “not that motivated.”
Even though he is uncertain his job track, this young man’s future is full of promise. Lovett will have plenty of time to figure it out after he turns 18 Sunday.