This is the fifth of 20 profiles about The Gazette's Best and Brightest Class of 2014.
Jacob Carson can't sit still. He can't stand still, either.
Diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder at an early age, Carson acknowledges this as an asset and a curse. He knows others become irritated and uncomfortable around him, but he sees that efforts to focus his energy have positive results.
Carson wrote in his Best and Brightest essay, " . it gives me the inability to sit still and focus, but it also provides me with a burning furnace of energy to excel at many aspects of my life."
Coronado High School counselor Colleen McElvogue, said she doesn't see Carson's ADHD as something that defines him. "It's not at the forefront of who he is," she said. "Year in and year out, he is a top performer in the school. His intelligence just seems to dominate."
Carson's 4.8 GPA reflects a strong intellect as does his concurrent enrollment at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, where he studies differential equations and introduction to engineering design, in addition to Advanced Placement and honors courses at Coronado.
"It's truly a juggling act," McElvogue said. "But the pace at which he can absorb a lecture is well ahead of the rest of the group."
McElvogue has known Carson since he was in eighth grade when he took honors algebra at the high school. He was among the top performers in the class.
Among his extracurricular achievements is his involvement with FIRST Robotics Team 2996 Cougars Gone Wired, where his role this year is vice president of systems integration. The Coronado team received honors in two regional matches, ensuring a spot in the championship in St. Louis this month.
Carson hasn't limited himself to building winning robots. Community service is also part of his repertoire.
He helped prepare and place hundreds of sandbags to reduce erosion and flood damage along the foothills after the Waldo Canyon fire in 2012. And for the past five years, Carson has volunteered with Christmas Unlimited.
CORONADO HIGH SCHOOL
Parents: Tom and Janet Carson
College plans: Undecided, accepted to Purdue University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Case Western Reserve University and University of Colorado at Boulder
Other: Coronado High School Academic Recognition; Advanced Placement Scholar with honors; FIRST Robotics Team: qualified for international competition, chairman awards; University of Northern Colorado Math Competition finalist; Christmas Unlimited volunteer