Student Feature: Lamarr Olive—The Creative Tech Entrepreneur
The vibrant town of Clifton, New Jersey, has been home to Clifton High School (CHS) sophomore Lamarr Olive his entire life. Lamarr has established deep roots in his community, growing up alongside his sister, mother, and father. Of Caribbean descent, his family heritage enriches the colorful tapestry of cultures that thrive in Clifton. Lamarr’s academic journey began at Elementary School 16, where he found his passion for creating. He was driven by the desire to build something he could be proud of, a passion that continues to fuel him today.
Lamarr’s involvement in the activities and clubs at CHS reflects his interests and his dedication to his craft. As he puts it, “Whether it be a popsicle stick structure or a website, making something I’m proud of has always been a significant driving force of what I’m interested in.” As the lead programmer on the renowned CHS robotics team, he helps create innovative code and instructs other team members on how to program robots. When he’s not working hard at the Robotic Warehouse, Lamarr further demonstrates his leadership skills as the class of 2025 student council president, where he can grow his leadership and communication skills.
Lamarr had much to share when asked about his hobbies and interests outside of school. He stated that he often spends his free time with his family, whom he holds dear. “Family is everything to me,” he expressed. “They are my rock and my support system.” Lamarr credited his parents for their unwavering support. “My parents push me to accomplish anything I set my mind to. Without their support, I wouldn’t be able to succeed in all facets of my life.”
Apart from spending valuable family time, Lamarr spends much of his free time coding websites and learning new programming languages. “I love coding because it allows me to create something from scratch and turn it into something amazing,” he explained. “The feeling of accomplishment I get from creating something drives me to keep learning and to improve my skills.” Keyboards and coding algorithms aside, Lamarr is a fitness enthusiast and enjoys going to the gym. He believes that maintaining a healthy body is essential for a healthy mind. “Working out is my stress reliever,” he said. “It helps me clear my mind and refocus on my goals.”
Along with challenging his body, Lamarr loves to challenge his mind. Advanced Placement United States History is a notoriously difficult course at CHS that Lamarr periodically struggles with. Reflecting on his experience, Lamarr shared, “The class had been a struggle; however, it taught me to think outside the box and establish a stronger work ethic.” Rather than letting his struggles hold him back, Lamarr rose to the challenge and emerged a stronger, more resilient student.
Currently, Lamarr is fascinated by the emergence of more advanced artificial intelligence (AI). Lamarr says, “Recently, with the creation of Chat GPT, stable diffusion, and a race of big tech companies to create the best technology, it has been interesting to see these seemingly untouchable big tech companies compete for users. I want to learn about AI in the future as the topic constantly expands to new fields. The most exciting part about this technology is that we are in the beginning stages of what AI is capable of, the beginning of what many call an artificial intelligence renaissance.”
Lamarr credits his success to his advisors and the opportunities present at Clifton High. One of his most influential teachers is his robotics mentor, Mr. Richard Kopelow. Lamarr says Mr. Kopelow “has provided me with information on improving my leadership and technical skills. Throughout my time on the robotics team, he instructed me to think strategically and improve my programming ability.” Lamarr has taken that advice to heart, as evidenced by his impressive achievement in becoming a certified interpreter of the popular coding verbiage, Structured Query Language, and recently helping lead the robotic team’s win at a Massachusetts competition this past week, March 3rd through March 5th, 2023. Aside from programming, Lamarr is also a star athlete, earning the Cross Country State Sectional Championship and First Team All-County in Cross Country. He also excels academically, having been named a Mustang Ace and a Student of the Month.
Looking towards the future, Lamarr dreams of making a difference in his community and beyond. Combining his leadership skills with his technical ability, he plans to major in computer science and become an entrepreneur. Lamarr envisions creating a technology business that provides helpful products that alleviate suffering and meet communal needs. With a determined spirit and a hunger for knowledge, Lamarr is well on his way to achieving his goals. Although he has yet to identify the exact product he wants to create, he remains “determined to gain all the skills and knowledge to prepare for when I do.”
In the nearest two years at CHS, Lamarr has learned the importance of time management and communication. As a student leader, he feels a duty to uphold specific moral values and a higher standard, hoping he has been an example of an individual who effectively manages their time and articulates their thoughts. These valuable life lessons will surely serve him well in his future endeavors.
Lamarr Olive is a young man with a bright future. He has already achieved much in his high school career, but he is only getting started. His determination, talent, and drive make him a catalyst for communal and world improvement. His passion for creating and his desire to innovate will undoubtedly lead him to great success in the future. As he grows and learns, we can expect to hear much more about this exciting young entrepreneur.