Zachary Smith is an inventor.
One of his gadgets, a "digiwrist," is a wristwatch that also shows maps and pictures.
He converted it from a small digital picture frame and put it in a wristband with a clear window.
He's also invented the "bubble gun of doom" that shoots methane gas-filled bubbles, and a teddy bear whose belly plays music with removable speakers.
"I always liked making things, ever since I was little," he said.
Zachary, 17, is The Augusta Chronicle's Community Counts Youth of the Month.
Zachary, who graduated from home school at 16, also was recently named Augusta Technical College's GOAL student.
He was nominated by Surekha Prasad, the head of the electronics and computer engineering technology department, based on his leadership and academics.
Zachary is one of 11 finalists who will compete for statewide Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership honors May 21 in Atlanta.
Zachary is an inspired student ready to take on anything that comes his way, according to Ms. Prasad. She says he will pursue great things in life, as a "high energy, high achiever with his dreams."
He has also been in a leadership role as the president for the engineering society at his school.
He credits much of his success to his family and the values instilled in him by his parents, Iziah and Patsy Smith.
Zachary is training for the Ironman triathlon event in Augusta on Sept. 27. He has run a half-marathon and went to the state championship when he ran track for A.R. Johnson Health Science and Engineering Magnet School.
Zachary wants to attend Southern Polytechnic State University in Marietta for a bachelor's degree in electronics engineering, then study aerospace engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology.
"What I really want to do is have my own company where I could invent things," he said.
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
Community Counts is The Augusta Chronicle's collaborative effort to benefit the communities in our area.
SALUTE A YOUTH
The Augusta Chronicle's Community Counts Youth of the Month award recognizes good students who have special talents in the arts, athletics or other areas. Nominees must be 8 to 18 and residents of the Aiken-Augusta area. Nomination forms are available at chronicle.augusta.com/communitycounts/nominate. Call (706) 823-3223 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.