2017-18 Southwest Military Youth of the Year
Club/Organization: JB San Antonio-Lackland Youth Program
College/University: University of Texas – Austin
Career Aspiration: Researcher
“My story has been marred by damaging peer interactions. However, I did not let negative and oppressive people define my future. I refused to be a victim. Rather, I leveraged persistency and resiliency into a successful high school career."
David has lived a life familiar to many military youth, beginning with his birth in a military hospital. He has lived in seven places across multiple continents, attended numerous schools and, correspondingly, restructured his social life many times.
When he moved to Tucson, Arizona, in seventh grade, David encountered significant bullying in school. Instead of retreating internally, he sought solace at the BGCA-affiliated Youth Center. As a member of various Youth Centers since elementary school, he knew that even though he was in a new place, the Youth Center would welcome him with open arms.
The Youth Center ignited David’s passion for academia and the arts. In fact, a fish tank at the Youth Center piqued his interest in research. After watching a leader change the water in the tank, he used the Youth Center’s computer lab to research water filtration systems. That day, he left the Youth Center with the intent to conduct solar-powered water desalination for a science fair project. He credits support and guidance he found at the Youth Center for success at the local, regional, state and international science fair levels. The Youth Center also sparked David’s interest in photography, which he enjoys personally and professionally as a budding freelance photographer.
David is attending the University of Texas – Austin to study biology, continuing his passion for science.