Scholar of the Week: Douglas Smith of Open High School
By Janeal Downs
While many different topics and activities may catch his attention, Douglas Smith said his biggest interest is in church and his faith. As a member of West Broad Church of Christ, he said church is one of the biggest reasons why he is able to succeed. “This has shaped me into the person that I am today by showing me the true value of respecting others and how to be able to do the right thing at all times, even when at times it feels hard,” Douglas stated in an essay. Church has taught him many valuable lessons such as respect and even timeliness. When people are late to church, they are disrupting the service and may not even get to participate. He said he can use lessons like these outside of church but in the workplace as well.
Currently, as a senior at Open High School, Douglas has a 3.95 GPA. He also is in a dual enrollment program at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College where his GPA is a 4.0. He hopes to continue his education by going to college and pursuing a career in information technology. He has always been around computers, thanks to his dad who he says is his biggest influence. “He was always around computers and he showed me the different things I could do,” Douglas said. “The more I could do, the more I started to like it.” The rapid advancement of technology in today’s world excites Douglas, which is another reason why he hopes to support himself in the future with a career in information technology.
Douglas has already gotten experience with helping people and using his talent with technology by being able to assist people at the library with their computers. To further his education, of the 14 colleges he has applied to, his top choice is Virginia Commonwealth University. The fact that the school was close to home was a not a factor in his choice but the appealing campus and their Information Technology program inside of the Business School.
Besides computers, Douglas has an interest in music and government. On the weekends, and in his spare time, he plays the clarinet which he has been playing since he was in the Fifth Grade. He even played in the Marching Band in his earlier years of high school. In regards to government, not only does Douglas like to follow politics but he is also the president of his senior class and a dominant force in his junior class council. “I was able to lead my class by being the example,” Douglas said. He has been able to learn how to work with others and make compromises with all of the different opinions in his class. As a member of the Mayor’s Youth Academy, Douglas has another leadership position as the Youth President. He is a member of the robotics team, RVA Coder Collective, based out of the Eureka Workshop with CodeVA. The robotics teams are made up of three high schools and three middle schools.
Douglas plans to continue his work in the community in the future and said it is important to give back to people. “There are still people to this day who still don’t know how to use computers or operate them,” he said. In the future, in his spare time, he wants to open a small place which can help different people with technology and also encourage people and help them learn what they need to do to also go to college.