Dave has graduated! He received his degree in Engineering from Michigan State University and Dave has his first job! Toyota very quickly offered him a position as a Purchasing Specialist! This past January, Dave joined Toyota in the Ann Arbor, Michigan area and has to admit that even though he remains an MSU fan, Ann Arbor is a wonderful community.

We had lunch with Dave not long ago and were delighted to hear that Toyota integrates new employees by assigning them mentors. They also enable employees to gain expertise in a number of areas by changing their responsibilities every six months or so when they first begin.

There will be opportunity for Dave to move within Toyota no doubt, seeking out more aspects of engineering that delight him. But the future holds many possibilities for those with an engineering degree! Congratulations Dave!

But let’s tell Dave’s story one more time:

According to his family, from the time Dave could pick up and hold an object in his hands he could take it apart and put it back together again.

Which is probably why, when asked how long he had dreamed of being an engineer, he said, “I think, since I was born.”

A graduate of West Ottawa High School Dave wants to pursue that interest and gift, choosing to enter the Engineering program at Michigan State University, with a major in Applied Engineering Sciences and a concentration in Supply Chain.

Dave’s career goals?

  • To work for the auto industry
  • Be involved in engineering the cars of the future like electric cars

Dave’s full given name — Viet-Dave — honors his parents’ homeland and his heritage, Vietnam. His parents , both from Vietnam met in New York City but later moved to Holland. They encouraged Dave to go further in his education than they had been able to do.

Friends of his parents told them about the Hope College Trio’s Upward Bound program which encouraged motivated students to set high goals and then showed them how to achieve it.

Dave attended the twice weekly tutoring sessions and the six week summer session where students took classes that prepared them for their next year’s school courses. He also attended group building excursions and traveled with other Upward Bound students to visit a number of colleges.

Elizabeth Colburn, Director of Upward Bound had this to say about Viet-Dave:

“Dave views learning as a gift; he appreciates and takes full advantage of his education opportunities. He is a curious, hard working student who holds himself to the highest standards.”

And what words would Dave have for other students, dreaming of a college education but knowing there are financial hurdles to accomplishing that dream?

“Stay organized in High School. It will help when you get to college to practice that.Take all the opportunities that come your way. And don’t procrastinate!”

To learn more about the Holland/Zeeland Promise Scholarship, visit www.cfhz.org/hzpromise