Bennett David '18 Humbled by Scholarships
National Merit Scholarship the latest honor for Christ School senior
Bennett David '18 has continually put himself and Christ School on the national map. Not only through academics, but with community service.
Now there is incentive to do even more as part of the Robertson Scholars Leadership Program at Duke University.
It was made official this week that Bennett is one of only 31 students, globally, to be awarded the Roberston, a full scholarship which covers eight semesters of tuition, room and board, and other mandatory fees. That's not all. The Greenie senior was announced as a National Merit Scholar on Wednesday and has received the National Eagle Scout Association Council Scholarship.
"I am humbled by the people and organizations that have chosen to invest in me and my education," Bennett said. "I am committed to make the most out of all learning opportunities and to use my education and abilities to make a positive impact."
With graduation on May 20 looming, Bennett has done more than enough to leave an indelible mark at Christ School.
As a senior, Bennett has been the Honor Council Chair and Student Leader for Habitat for Humanity. During his time here, Bennett has taken 14 Advanced Placement courses and been an AP Scholar with Distinction. He was rewarded three times for having the highest grade-point average in his class (ninth, 10th, and 11th grade). Bennett belonged to the Harvard Book Club, and was recognized with awards for physics, servant leadership, and writing.
Bennett said he is thankful for the opportunities afforded by Headmaster Paul Krieger and grateful to all his teachers. He especially wants to thank the following faculty members for how they have helped him outside the classroom: Kirk Blackard, Nick Luhm, Bryan Martin, Mike Mohney, Emily Pulsifer, Isaac Rankin, and James Uhler.
"I am immensely grateful for the education I have received here at Christ School and for the finest and most supportive teachers a student could hope for," Bennett said. "Christ School provides an individualized education, unique to the strengths, needs, and interests of each student. For me, Christ School provided the rigorous academics that I was looking for, as well as the support for my extracurricular interests and service work."
When it comes to that service, Bennett has devoted much of it to improving his home community of Asheville. In high school alone, he has put in more than 1,200 hours. It was work that earned Bennett the Congressional Award Gold Medal (the highest award given to youth by the United States Congress) and the William T. Hornaday Silver Medal in Conversation (the highest conservation award and rarest in the Boy Scouts of America).
Bennett was captain of UNC Asheville's FIRST Robotics Team 5854 or "GLITCH," which competed at the FIRST World Championships last month in Houston. He founded the "Future Builders" STEM Education and Mentorship Program to make engineering opportunities more available to disadvantaged students.
Looking ahead, Bennett plans to major in Mechanicial Engineering at Duke, with a possible second major or minor in the Trinity School of Arts and Sciences.
Bennett considered other high-end engineering schools, but what made Duke the right choice in the end?
"I chose to attend Duke because of the unique engineering education and because of the Robertson Scholarship Leadership Program," he said. "The Pratt School of Engineering as the explicit mission of combining a rigorous engineering education with the other skills and knowledge needed to apply engineering knowledge for the betterment of society. The multi-disciplinary approach to engineering challenges and global view are unique and were central to my choice. I believe that the collaboration with and access to the Trinity School of Arts and Sciences will provide me with both context and skills to guide my engineering career."