In a class full of computer nerds, Shammire Crocker stands out. The junior at Lauderhill 6-12 STEM Magnet School might be the nerdiest in his class, in a good way. He’s really good at designing and programming video games.
“It is my passion, in college I want to become a software engineer,” Shammire said.
His school blends middle and high school kids in the same building, and sometimes in the same classrooms, so there are ample opportunities for the older kids to mentor the younger ones.
“You know how high schoolers are supposed to be the selfish ones, only hanging out with people older than them, that’s not really me, so when I hang out with younger, underclassmen, it’s like wow, you’re taking your time out for me, well like yeah, because you need the help and I’m willing to help,” Shammire explained.
This is a young man who practices what he preaches, every single day.
“He’s amazing,” said his computer programming teacher, Randall Deich. “In the six years I’ve known him, he’s the one student that’s always been there not just about his learning but he supports everybody in the classroom.”
“I just think that, you know, all people should aspire to be like that and just appreciate that fact there are people like him out there,” added classmate Juan Palma, who has been Shammire’s best friend since they were in 6th grade together.
The classroom appreciates Shammire, a feeling which is especially strong among his mentees.
“He’s like a pillar of the community, he’s awesome, he sets the bar high for people that he hangs around and he’s just an awesome person,” said Ty Lampkin, an 8th grader who is under Shammire’s tutelage in the programming class.
“He pushed me to do my best in whatever I’m doing in game programming,” added sophomore Ashanti Fong. “He helps people who are in need of anything, so I think that’s what makes Shammire, Shammire.”
Perhaps most remarkable is that Shammire does all of this despite facing tremendous economic hardships at home.
“Low-income sorts of things, moving a lot, in and out of homes, going to sleep hungry sometimes, I don’t want my kids to go through that,” Shammire said, thinking of a future in which he has his own family.
It’s hard for most of to imagine being evicted from our homes, yet still maintaining a positive attitude.
“To come to school with a smile on your face every day while going home sad, it’s hard to balance it out, but I kind of, sort of have to do it, for my other peers, because I don’t want them to be sad because I’m sad,” Shammire said.
His teacher said he’s never had a student who compares to this young man.
“Not like him, but because of him, there are more students like him, he’s really paid it forward,” Deich said.
With perseverance, brilliance, and a huge heart, Shammire is winning the game every day.
“Take the wheel and drive forward, not backwards,” Shammire said.