Name: Jennifer C. Stimpson
City, State: Dallas, TX
Occupation: Science Educator
Theme song: On to the Next One by Jay Z. I find myself being motivated by the chorus, because it’s so true for me: I’m always doing something new, different, nontraditional, a bit of a rebel, etc. I’m somewhat of a non-conformist, an unintentional one at best
How are you living your “Ideal Life”?
I really enjoy helping others reach their potential. I guess that’s the “teacher” in me, but I am living my ideal life since I’m able to help future generations grow to greatness. My family is well and in good health, and I have great opportunity to travel. Part of my being able to live an ideal life is steeped in knowing how to find peace. This means, have a rich and complete understanding of who you are, how the world works with you in it. You rest assured not trying to compete with anyone other than your goals set by the Almighty. I live with a complete set of adventurous ideas. Far from risk-adverse. The risks you take make your life richer, and your boundaries grow and expand, further leading you into your soul to get closer to who you are meant to be. I live by the motto:
Exposure gives you options.
Describe your journey
I learned early on what it meant to be a public servant. My parents are both pharmacists – and instilled in me and my sister the significance of service through science. I ventured into the world of chemistry, earning an advanced degree in the discipline. I ventured from lab-based science into the classroom as a chemistry teacher. My time here has allowed me to explore my trek from early childhood to now.
What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned?
You must ensure what is necessary for you (and your village) to have a harmonious and mature character that is well equipped to make responsible choices. This will give you a voice in today’s society.
What challenges did you have to overcome?
I always found myself looking for that “person” who already did what I was trying to do. That person who majored in my major, who designed a cool concept, that person who pledged the sorority in which I had an interest, the person who did it well. Meaning, the first person I could come to know personally who adventured down the same path I was looking to traverse. Well, I learned soon enough, that few people walk the same path. I always thought there had to be someone who did it “first” to make it acceptable. Well, my challenge was leaning in to my own discomfort of being the leader of whatever “it” was. You may have to be the first, the only or the visionary to lead yourself (and others) toward greatness. If you are the first to open the door in 2016, 2017, 2020, be regal about it. You have earned the right to turn the handle and walk through. On the other side of that threshold is greatness. #walkinyourdestiny
People may look at my accomplishments and think I have it all together. We all overcome something. Being for example, I grew up more like the Huxtables than I did the Evans’. Even though my dad was more like George Jefferson and my mom was like Claire Huxatble…I am the perfect blend of “different” which imprinted what life for me as an African American child would be. I overcame challenges of fitting in with my peers because I was so different than they were. Professionally, I didn’t have mentors, colleagues or administrators who looked like me on whom I could lean for direction or guidance. So I trekked my own path by creating my world with each step I took.
What is your morning routine?
Weekdays, up early, reflection, maybe some exercise, and drinking 4 cups of water before 6am. This way, I’m already half way there before lunch!
What motivates you?
I am motivated by helping. I think I’m called to serve by teaching. I believe teaching is the most important service one can provide, and I am motived to educate because I learn more by doing. You connect to so many lives beyond your own and you learn so much about who you are when you teach. I really am motivated by helping – helping to educate a generation to function knowledgably in society. That gives me great motivation.
What would you share with those aspiring to create and live their “Ideal Life”?
Find a way to serve. Service is the best way you can live your best life or so I believe. All of us want more money, talent, leadership, time, friends, opportunities, yet, longing for more doesn’t give you happiness. Doing what you like does. Finding how to do the greatest things you enjoy in the simplest and most meaningful way is what guides toward the ideal. You learn by doing and by doing you are serving others – somehow, some way – indirectly or directly – you are giving meaning to the world through service.
What’s next for you?
Launching a STEM network designed to engage and inspire all participants about the wonders and possibilities of science.
How can you be reached?
<I wish I was that fab…working on it>