Jarrett Allen poised for success in academic endeavors

Erin Mullins

Lovell High School junior Jarrett Allen builds both computers and Wyoming Academic Challenge (WAC) team camaraderie bit by bit, taking care for each individual aspect while also creating a polished product.
Allen is in his second year as team captain of WAC, but it is nowhere near his first year of auspicious hobbies.
WAC Coach Bret George said that it is not common for a sophomore or even a junior to play such a prominent role on a team, rather it is an honor for a non-senior to fill the role, George said.
Allen is consistently a star player in the ever-competitive club, but George said WAC is just the tip of the iceberg for Allen.
“Jarrett is a young man that will succeed at whatever he puts his mind to. He’s brilliant, yes. But more importantly, he’s a young man that will succeed in life with things that are more important to me than knowledge,” he said.
What is more important than knowledge, George said, is Allen’s happy attitude, willingness to help and courteous demeanor. Allen is a well-rounded young man, involved in multiple activities, he said.
Allen participates in WAC, choir, band, football, basketball and track.  He has received All-State Choir honors freshman, sophomore and junior years, singing as a bass. Allen plays multiple instruments, said choir director Carisa French. Allen is proficient in bass, trombone and piano.
French is in her first year as choir director for LHS but already recognizes Allen’s work ethic, talent and well-rounded nature. Playing instruments and knowing how to read music sets up one for success in choir, French said.
“Oftentimes, kids in choirs learn by rote (memorization), but since he can read rhythms, to read notes, it really helps him be a strong leader. He is the section leader for the basses, so he helps them learn their parts. You know, he helps them when they aren’t getting a good key,” she said.
Allen’s strong voice and musical skills make him a leader in the choir, French said.
Allen said he started both band and choir in sixth grade as it was a combined class with sections in band and choir on alternating days and has been participating in both ever since.
Additionally, Allen’s father Josey encouraged him to pursue singing.
Allen devours knowledge-based activities, and reading scientific nonfiction is a hobby.
Allen said he enjoys reading books in general, but takes a particular liking to science.
“My dad, he is interested in climate science and the different viewpoints and writings by people on that topic, Allen said. “I’ve read a couple of his books that he keeps in his classroom, and I found that really interesting.”
The more scientific knowledge the better when it comes to WAC. This is Allen’s third year in high school but fourth year in WAC because Allen unofficially tagged along with his older brother Jordan during his eighth-grade year in the midst of the pandemic.
Allen said he enjoys WAC because it is an intellectual competition. Sometimes, he feels on edge during competition, and nerves can make it hard to answer rapid-fire WAC questions. But practice helps Allen prepare for competition.
“We try to take it as relaxed as possible with our practices during lunch and things,” he said, “because it’s something that should be fun, and stressing doesn’t make it any easier. And the more relaxed you are, the better you’ll compete.”
Allen said he is not intimidated by the team’s performance in the upcoming state competition on March 16 because every team has a chance. The questions are so numerous that it is impossible to predict who has an advantage.
In addition to WAC, Allen built his own custom computer.
“My dad has built a computer before and really, if you, like, use the right tools and do the right research and things, it is not too difficult,” he said.
Allen assembled the computer by buying the individual computer parts, setting a budget and then building the computer. Key parts to assembling a computer include a quality graphics card, which determines how well video games can be run, and a reliable power supply. A good computer memory and storage capacity is also needed, he said.
Additionally, Allen bought a motherboard for his computer, which is the green circuit board that allows communication between many crucial electronics of a computer. After buying the aforementioned parts and other key electronics, Allen physically put the computer together before connecting the computer to a power supply.
After placing his graphics card into the mechanical assembly, Allen connected his computer to a power supply and installed a computer operating system. Allen installed a computer operating system so the computer would have programs to run on the screen.
Allen said he is driven by spending his time doing meaningful things, avoiding wasted time like scrolling all day on a phone, and trying new interests or hobbies.
“Having other commitments and interests and hobbies, I feel like, helps me to be a better person, which I guess is my ultimate goal. Just to be the best that I can, and find things that make me happy,” he said.
Allen’s drive for character is reflected in his Mormon faith.George said after high school he sees Allen serving a two-year mission for the church, with which Allen concurred. Allen said he is considering BYU-Utah for college, but has a large handful of schools he is considering.
Allen thanks his parents, Josey and Jill Allen, for his success, as well as his teachers and the friends he has made since moving here eight years ago. Career-wise, Allen wants to go into mechanical or electrical engineering.
Allen would like to stay in the Wyoming area, but said time will tell where he is working as engineer 10 or 15 years down the line.