Warn Wilson, Jr. may have a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering, but that degree isn’t what defines him.. By day, he’s an engineer working in the medical device field, but when he’s not at work, the Jackson, MS native is an author, artist, and an app creator.
Warn’s journey into engineering started at a young age through a supportive mother who saw his intrigue and desire to dismantle and restore his toys, along with his love of games, gadgets, and Bill Nye the Science Guy. “My mom kind of saw how I was intrigued with that stuff, and of course, I would get in trouble for taking my toys apart all the time,” Warn said. “She told me about engineering, that there’s a job where people design things and build things, and they try to make things better and create stuff. That’s what kind of led me towards that path.”
Warn took that intrigue and encouragement and went to the Mississippi State University, where he received his Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. But it was what happened a few years later that changed his trajectory in life. “I moved to Memphis in 2017, and in 2019, I suffered an Achilles tendon tear. I was sitting in the house with a boot on. I couldn’t really go out, I couldn’t do much.” Warn was also laid off from his job during that time. “I was scared. That was a big turning point in my life.”
With the free time he had, Warn decided to let his creative juices flow with Na Bruh, a trivia game that started as a 100-question card game with random facts and questions; every time your team answers a question wrong, the other team will yell, “Na Bruh!” That card game is now an app for families and friends to play on the go.
Along with developing a new game, Warn also wrote his first book, Brown Money. “Once I got into the mindset, I’m glad all that [the layoff and the injury] happened because it pushed me. It pushed me into reading more about investing, about how to be smarter with your money, about how to budget, about stocks, about real estate, all that. And that’s how Brown Money came to be.”
Warn says that once he started looking into finances, he realized he wanted to turn his knowledge into a series of children’s books so that kids will learn how to manage their money sooner than he did. It was also his way of paying it forward, to open more doors for children and expose them to what he didn’t know when he was younger. Warn is spreading the word about this book by visiting schools and organizations and speaking with kids.
While promoting his book, Warn was contacted by the Mississippi Department of Education to join a curriculum board of educators and industry members to help rewrite the 2022 engineering curriculum for the state at his alma mater, Mississippi State University. Warn also helped rewrite and critique the computer science curriculum for 2022.
Not only has he created a game and written several books, Warn also loves to paint. After he started painting in 2018, Warn has created more than 130 paintings and was able to host his first exhibit at the Kroc Center in Midtown Memphis, where he displayed 20 of his favorite pieces. He’s now getting ready for his next exhibit inside the Benjamin Hooks Library in Memphis from February 5-28, 2022.
When asked what else he has planned in the new year, Warn wants to work on turning his children book series, Brown Money, into an app while working on his third book in the series that focuses on defining and navigating the metaverse. He will also continue pushing to get his Na Bruh app into mainstream media while making connections and promoting change. “I want people to use my story as motivation to try stuff. Simply that,” Warn stated. “Even if you think the stuff is lame or weird, if you like it or love it, try it. Don’t be scared to try. That’s how you build that confidence, and confidence is competence. Execute that dream you put to the side and give yourself a shot. Bet on you.”