Jacob Ariston Interview

October 5, 2017

If someone was to ask Jacob Ariston what kind of person he was; he would say that he is a “stupid A**hole.” That is just a front. Ariston believes he’s actually kind and fearless.

Ariston grew up in Santa Ana, Orange County, California under the supervision of his grandmother. She worked three jobs to support he and his two sisters.

They would sometimes stay at the houses of different aunts while his grandmother was at work. It was at an aunts’ house Jacob almost drowned and got his right arm set on fire.

One Saturday, while he was in second grade, he was playing by the pool and fell into the deep end. He struggled to get back to the surface. “I was flaying my arms and kicking but I wasn’t getting anywhere. I couldn’t breath, but I wasn’t scared, I felt empty.”

Ariston’s aunt saw him and got him to safety. For a while he called her his idol. When Ariston was in elementary school he remembers recounting the story to her.

“She told me that she thought I was just some kid messing around. I lost my respect for her. She didn’t intentionally save me and she didn’t even know it was me.” Ariston says that he then viewed her as irresponsible. “She was supposed to be watching me, I could have died and she would have thought that I was just a random kid messing around in the pool.”

Ariston was being monitored by another aunt when his arm caught fire. His arm hair was singed. “She was at our house and couldn’t really operate the gas stove,” ariston recounts. “She left the burner on, then asked me to light it. I just remember a combustion and my arm engulfed in blue flame. I’m not afraid of fire though.”

Ariston says he doesn’t like the concept of fear and refuses to let past trauma affect him. He goes to Riverside Park (an hour away from Santa Ana) with his family, and always go through the enclosed water slides. The blackness around him initially takes his breath away. He hyperventilates but then manages to calm himself.

Ariston is currently a freshman at Morningside College. He is on a Nicholas Academic Center scholarship. He is majoring in Engineering Science because he wants to make a lot of money to support his family. Ariston also wants to make a difference. He sees Engineers as creators and also as individuals who make current inventions better.

Ariston want people to know he’s worth something. “I want people to remember me as someone who was worth at least an hour to listen to or to meet with.  And in that hour I would have changed or affected you in some kind of way.”

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