Photography by Martin Harris, BritSnap
David Davis Large
Senior, St. Jude Educational Institute; 17 years old
• SGA President
• Hopes to find a cure for lupus
• Competitive Taekwondo
• Page for the Alabama Senate
It’s not every day that someone’s list of extracurricular activities includes Taekwondo, student government association president and Gardening Club. But David Davis isn’t your everyday teenager. When David was in the fourth grade, his mother passed away from a chronic autoimmune disease called lupus. From that day on, his grandparents Leoneal and Juliette Davis raised him as their son. “My grandparents stepped into my mother’s place without being asked, and I’m forever grateful for it.”
Over the years, David has faced obstacles such as bullying, difficulties attached with losing a loved one and growing up without a mother, but he didn’t let them stop him. David made up his mind to overcome adversity and has done exactly that.
Taekwondo has played a large role in David’s life over the years. “It’s a fun way to relieve stress, exercise, learn self-defense and be with great friends,” he said. His instructor Mrs. Docarmo has become one of his role models, teaching him about hard work, dedication and unyielding perseverance.
PG (parental guidance) rating
“My grandparents have provided opportunities for me that most children don’t get. They’ve pushed me to do and experience things that I never would have.”
When David’s mother passed away, his grandparents Leoneal and Juliette Davis didn’t hesitate before taking him under their wing, and they’ve been raising him as their own ever since.
“We have given David the tools and opportunities to succeed in life by supporting him in all his endeavors,” Leoneal said, “never allowing him to be ‘just good enough’ and allowing him to strive and achieve to the best of his abilities.” The couple couldn’t be more proud of David and all he’s accomplished, especially his perseverance. Juliette said, “After the passing of his mother, David learned to overcome adversity while still achieving academically and athletically.” And he hasn’t slowed down one bit, but has continued to shine in all that he does.
parent to parent
“Allow your children to grow up. If you let them experience failures, they’ll learn from them, understand their choices and be better equipped to recover from future disappointments and failures.”