Humans of Harker: David Zhu strives to positively impact his community


Maya Valluru

“A long term goal of mine is to leave some sort of impact. I’d really like to just leave something behind that will benefit other people. I want to be able to create some sort of product or invent something and then, years down the road, see people using it,” David Zhu (12) said.

by Maya Valluru, News Editor

David Zhu’s love for working as a member of student council stems from his passion to meet the humans of his school. From speaking with new freshmen to reconnecting with peers in his class, he finds joy in being in active member of a welcoming community.

“I think whenever there is a new student around or an underclassman I haven’t met, it’s a lot of fun just to meet new people,” he said. “It forces me to open up about myself, to get out of my comfort zone. It’s a kind of adventure: you never know what’s going to happen. You don’t know who the people are, and you don’t really have much to lose.”

David is currently the treasurer of the senior class and has been an active student leader since his freshman year. While it’s often challenging to accommodate individual desires of students, David is a strong proponent for improving student life any way he can.

“One philosophy that I follow is that whenever there is a debate or discussion, I always like to listen to all sides of the argument, not just one. And that’s a big part of [being in student council], because whenever you actually want to get something done, it’s not easy. I like to think ahead before starting to implement ideas that might not be feasible in the first place.”

David has also enjoyed dance as a hobby since his days as a student at the Lower School. He grew most involved in the dance program at the Upper School, performing as a member of Kinetic Krew and choreographing a piece in this year’s upper school Dance Show.

“I think it’s just a way for me to express myself. It’s an artform but it’s also energetic,” he said. “Choreographing is also a really unique experience. How often do you get to direct a routine—not just the choreography itself, but the staging, the formations, the costumes the lighting, everything?”

With the same dedication he displays as a motivated leader on student council and in the dance room, David hopes to leave behind a footprint on the world through independent science research. He seeks to implement what he learns at school to projects that reach beyond the classroom through the avenue of science fairs.

“I feel like science research is what I feel has the most potential for impact, and it’s what I enjoy doing. I think that being able to combine [making an impact and science] to make other people happy is just great. It’s just great.”

But no matter what pursuit David takes on next, he remains certain that his enthusiasm for his work will drive him towards happiness.

“I can’t really enjoy doing something unless I feel passionate about it,” David said. “Being passionate about something is part of the enjoyment.”