Charlotte Engineering Student Has Heart for his Community

  • He has completed his 13th and final year at Charlotte Engineering Early College (CEEC). CEEC is one of two Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, in partnership with the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC), that offers students the chance to enroll in college courses while completing their high school graduation requirements. In addition to earning a high school diploma, students can earn up to two years of transferable college credit, tuition-free.

    david 1 "From the time I was 10 years old, I've wanted to become an engineer. I've always excelled in mathematics, science and technology," said David. "I was never challenged in a traditional high school environment. I wanted to go somewhere that pushed the envelope and taught in a unique and accelerated way."

    David plans to remain at UNCC and continue studying computer science.

    "I was initially going to double major in two fields, but computer science made more sense. I love computers and have a knack for programming and working with technology in general," said David.

    While David's mind is in his studies, his heart is in his community. He volunteers with many organizations and has raised money for others. He enjoys helping veterans and children at Levine Children's Hospital. Last year, he was awarded a key to the city by Huntersville Mayor John Aneralla for his many efforts.

    David's most recent effort was spurred by the needs he knew would come with the COVID-19 pandemic – food and supplies. He used the Nextdoor social network to find people who needed groceries or knew of someone who did. Someone David had already helped let him know about 83-year-old Eva Boyce. 

    "Ms. Boyce is humble, kind, sweet, soft-spoken and proud, so she doesn't ask for help. She didn't want more than a loaf of bread when I found out about her," said David. "I could have just dropped off the months’ worth of food I bought, a new toaster oven for her to cook her favorite meal – fish sticks – and called it a day, but I couldn't stop there."

    David started a GoFundMe campaign and raised $2,000 for Boyce. He and his brother, Jake, surprised her with the funds.david 2

    David is a manager at Food Lion and is considered an essential worker. His work schedule ramped up due to the pandemic, and his schoolwork became virtual when schools closed in March. Yet, he took the time to bring joy to those who were struggling by lightening their burden.

    "I work almost 40 hours every week. I have noticed a decline in morale among customers and co-workers from the strain of the new normal," said David. "The one change I hope remains is people caring for and helping one another – realizing that we're all in this together. That part has been nice to see."