Jim Larimore

Jim Larimore

Chief Officer, Center for Equity in Learning


ACT, Inc.

Milestones

Milestones

My road in life took a while to figure out.
Had supportive parents (even if they didn’t know what going to college would involve).
Left my hometown to make a fresh start.
The unexpected chance to be a Resident Assistant, which made it possible for me to finish college…
And “discover” that I could apply my desire to help people change their lives by helping students succeed in college
Having my first few employers look beyond my first two years of college and focus on my potential once I started to work less and study more
Having a boss and colleagues that tolerated my many questions about why things were done a certain way, and to take a chance on trying new ways to support students
A wife and friends who encouraged me to take the plunge and become “the dean” – a role I told them I’d never want!
And who supported me in taking on new roles and new challenges in the US and abroad.
Keep following my journey
Education

Education

highschool
High School
Ayer High School
undergrad
Bachelor
Criminal Justice and Sociology
Texas A&M University-Commerce
graduate
Graduate
Education, General
Stanford University
Career

Career

Chief Officer, Center for Equity in Learning

Lead a team that leverages ACT research & partnerships to increase opportunity & support for underserved learners.

Career Roadmap

Roadmap
My work combines:
My work combines:
Education
Education
Non-Profit Organizations
Non-Profit Organizations
Working with Others
Working with Others

Day to Day

I work with a diverse group of colleagues brainstorming new strategies and initiatives, creating plans with external partner organizations, and figuring out how to reach as many students and families as possible to help them reach their education and career aspirations.

Skills & Qualities Beyond School

It is important to listen to others openly and carefully, to understand their experiences and dreams and the obstacles they face as honestly as possible. Seek first to understand. Then communicate and work together to create a better future.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for everyone

When I think about people I admire in my field, it is clear that there is not one “right path” that leads to being an educator and advocate for equity and justice. But the more you understand diverse backgrounds and experiences, education and how it is structured, and are willing to learn about organizational culture and how to change it, the more clearly you will see both challenges and opportunities to make improvement.

Recommended Education

My career is related to what I studied. I'd recommend the path I took:

undergrad
Bachelor
Criminal Justice and Sociology
graduate
Graduate
Education, General
Hurdles

Hurdles

The Noise I Shed

From Society in General:

"People said… “Why don’t you just …” or “People like you don’t …” I can count on one hand the number of teachers that took the time to connect with me, and who conveyed that they saw something worthwhile in me."

For better or worse, I was raised by two of the most stubborn and determined parents that a kid could have. So I learned that if I complained about something I’d better be prepared to do something to change it. So my advice is to set high expectations for yourself and make it your job to find people who can encourage and support you. And while you’re doing that, bring some friends and teach them how to gather information, identify resources, and serve as an advocate for others.

Challenges I Overcame

Financial
Financial

Talk to school counselors & college access advisors, financial aid officers, student affairs staff, peers & anybody else who can help you figure out the complexities of financial aid. Apply for every scholarship & grant you can, & get a job on campus

Gangs / Violence
Gangs / Violence

Ultimately, the risks & compromises are not worth the potential costs, & will take you further away from a path to a safer and more financially stable life for yourself and those you love. You need a plan to coexist, but not get pulled in.

Learning Issues
Learning Issues

The rules change when you transition from high school to college, so talk as soon as possible with the person who coordinates disability/accessibility support services for your college to ensure that you start the academic term with a plan in place.

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