Vivian’s Story

Growing up Vivian has always been a dreamer!  Her mom died when she was just 5 years old leaving her and her 3 siblings alone with her dad, who could not cope with the death.  Vivian’s grandmother came out of retirement, adopted all 4 children and worked tirelessly to provide for them.  When Vivian was a middle schooler, her father was involved in an accident that rendered him incapable of caring for himself.  He had no choice, but to go back home to live with his mother, Vivian’s grandmother.  Vivian became a caregiver and when she wasn’t studying, she was taking care of her dad. 

During eighth grade, Vivian was recruited into Project Success, a program designed for academically talented students.  It was there she met “Coach Bart” who pitched to her the idea of joining his robotics team.  Vivian had only heard of engineering and was curious about it even though her friends told her it was boring.  She had no idea what she was getting into when she accepted Coach Bart’s offer, but it opened up a whole new world of experiences that she could only dream of.  Vivian even had the opportunity to work with Dr. Lonnie Johnson.  She learned many valuable skills including how to use machine tools, CAD software and CNC machines as well as many life lessons from Coach Bart.  Vivian eventually became the lead programmer on her robotics team. 

Vivian credits hard work and the JSAC robotics program in helping her become the valedictorian of her high school class. She received a full scholarship to Georgia Tech. When she wasn’t in class, she was at home taking care of her grandmother and her dad.  Two years into her collegiate career, her grandmother became gravely ill and Vivian knew she had to do more. She left school and became her father’s and grandmother’s primary caretaker until her grandmother passed away.  Vivian went back to school while continuing to take care of her dad.  Years later, she is still mentoring.  After completing her degree, she was passionate about giving back.  She now mentors other students at JSAC to give other students the same opportunities she had. She continues to mentor to this day all the while taking care of her dad and continuing to dream!