Mr. Wells goes to Washington
February 16, 2012
FORT CARSON, Colo. -- Arimus Wells has an impressive resume: student body president at Fountain-Fort Carson High School, president of the National Honor's Society, literacy tutor, honor student.
"I have to credit my parents and the teachers in the Fountain-Fort Carson school district," he said. "I would never fathom doing this without them."
A high school senior, Wells, 17, has already been accepted to several prestigious colleges including Howard University and Denver University. He hasn't decided what he wants to study yet, perhaps urban planning, political science or civil engineering. He wants to minor in business.
"One job is not going to satisfy me," he said. "I'll always be looking for the next challenge."
As part of the National Math and Science Initiative, first lady Michelle Obama visited Wells' high school in April, announcing the implementation of three new advanced placement courses, including environmental science, English literature and calculus. Wells enrolled in all of them.
Because of his tenacity and participation in the AP courses, Wells earned an all-expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C. to attend the Feb. 7 White House Science Fair.
"It was amazing," Wells said. "I got to see Barack Obama … It was surreal because I was only three rows away from him."
Although he did not present at the science fair, Wells was one of a few dozen students who received a special invitation to attend the event, which included a bus tour of the national monuments and an exclusive visit to the White House to see the science fair.
"One (science project) I was really impressed with came from fifth- and sixth-graders from St. Louis, Mo.," he said. "They were only 11 or 12 years old and they were already building these lunch boxes that could sanitize themselves."
The son of Sgt. 1st Class Wendell Wells, 1st Space Battalion, 1st Space Brigade, at Peterson Air Force Base, and Wanda Wells, a medical records technician at Evans Army Community Hospital and former Soldier, Arimus Wells said growing up in the military community was both challenging and rewarding.
"I try to look at it from a positive side," he said. "As a military child I was exposed to more cultures, and I think I'm more open-minded. You can go a lot farther if you're open-minded."
"He's a go-getter," said Wanda Wells. "I'm very proud of him."
Wendell Wells echoed his wife's praise.
"He's a very outgoing individual," he said. "He's always been ambitious. Quitting is not in his vocabulary."
Although he has no ambition to join the military, Arimus Wells said he's glad that he was exposed to the military lifestyle growing up.
"I didn't like it here at first, but if you have the opportunity to excel, you should take it," he said. "There are possibilities, but it's up to you to take advantage of them. 'Dream it, think it, be it.' That's the quote I live by. Never stop dreaming."