Success Stories

A Future in Technology

Boris, age 17, Junior Staff

Boris’ involvement with DAVA programs began in 5th grade.  He is a junior in high school now, and reflects on his time at DAVA.  Boris became part of our Open Studio and learned the “basics”- drawing, painting, ceramics, sculpture.  He progressed to our Job Training Program and joined the Computer Art Lab, claiming “mostly, I’m a technology guy.” Boris was shy and hesitant to make friends at first, but friendships grew during group projects.  He watched and admired his Junior Staff leaders and started to come out of his shell.  “At first, I did not know I would be a leader, but I had to grow up.  Now I practice being a leader every day.”

Over the years, he has learned to take his mistakes and find solutions to create a better project in the end.  He invites people into his group.  He encourages others.  He has grown into a personable, funny and creative teenager with the confidence to represent DAVA at local events, professional conferences, and the White House to accept DAVA’s NAHYPA award in 2014.  He concluded, “I have learned so many skills at DAVA, and I feel prepared for a future in technology.  I am able to find and solve problems and manage my time very effectively.  All of my experiences at DAVA have made me a better person.”

Second Chances

Gael, age 13, and Princia, age 15, Job Training

Gael and Princia are brother and sister, and they are refugee students from Africa.  Gael has never had the opportunity to work with new technology, and he has become passionate about filmmaking in DAVA’s Job Training program.  He is the first to show up for class, learns quickly, and takes a leading role in teaching other students how to operate equipment.  According to his DAVA instructor, he is an example of honesty and perseverance.

His older sister Princia has a very different personality and was afraid of working with computers.  When she first came to DAVA, she would act up during class.  After a serious conversation with her instructor about becoming a better role model for younger students, she started working hard to improve.  As she became more comfortable around technology, her instructor made her a group leader.  Now, she eagerly shares her positive ideas with new students.  She comments, “I love learning new things, and I know so many more computer skills.  DAVA also teaches the importance of being patient and intelligent.”



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Halimo in Job Training Robotics in Job Training Job Training student Hiram designs a model Eh Kaw creates a paper fashion dress