Nicknamed Dictionary in high school and Wiki in college, Jess Waltman says the first time he knew he wanted to be an attorney was when he read To Kill A Mockingbird as a seven or eight year old boy.
Young for that book, huh?
If Mama had a book I read it.
He is home from the University of Mississippi School of Law for the weekend. After graduating with an Accountancy Degree from the number four accounting school in the United States, obtaining a position in the Hall of Fame among nine other students in his graduating class and securing a position in law school Jess is available to answer some questions on a Sunday afternoon.
He is part of a project, the first in a series of "Where Are They Now?" Four pages of notes, a few photographs and I am at the very beginning of attempting to comprehend what in this guy's life makes him so certain he is going to be a United States Attorney performing federal prosecution on white collar crime. "Unless," he says, "I find I love private practice."
This is not an example of Gladwell's David and Goliath, there is no impression this guy is overcoming anything. Throw out the notion that energy is wasted on our youth. Jess attributes his success to the best parents in the world (he knows other people think they have the best parents but he says he really does) and a great life lesson he took from his local public school. What Jess learned is that if you want something done and you are willing to work then people will rally around you and it, whatever it is, can get done.
So he does.
Of course, there's more to come.
Today I am grateful for our sons and daughters.