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Parents’ support leads to student success

David Franco
David Franco

Recent BSM graduate and first-year MBA student David Franco attributes many of his accomplishments to his parents’ example and continued encouragement.

“I always like to give my parents a lot of credit,” says Franco, a Greenwood, Indiana, native. “They’re my role models.”

In April, Franco received the 2010 G.A. Ross Award. This honor recognizes one outstanding graduating man at Purdue for his leadership, contribution to the University, and academic excellence.

Academically, Franco takes after his mother, Deborah, who graduated from Indiana University with degrees in law, sociology, and nursing. “She was a judge, then a nurse, and now she works at my dad’s engineering consulting firm,” says Franco. “She’s been a lot of places.”

Franco, like his mother, received multiple degrees. In only six years, he completed majors in management, mathematics, economics, and accounting. He minored in pre-medicine and finance.

After developing the strong math skills that would bring him success at Purdue, Franco put into action a lesson his father, Gabriel, taught him. “He would say, ‘Remember, David, when you become great at this you need to help your classmates and your little brother,’” Franco recalls.

He began volunteering as a peer tutor in middle school, spending lunches and study halls helping classmates with challenging math and science problems. Franco also has shared his talents and gifts volunteering as a tutor in the Purdue community and continues to do so as a student in Krannert’s MBA program.

“I tutor on campus for the math department and for Purdue Adaptive Programs for students with disabilities,” he says. “I also volunteer tutor the students of West Lafayette High School.”

Franco’s achievements extend beyond academics. He has played on several intramural sports teams, winning the football championship in 2008 and placing second in soccer during the 2009 season. He is also a self-taught artist and fills the walls of his apartment with original paintings and drawings.

“I referee soccer for high school leagues, and I’m studying to get my construction inspector certification so I can work with my dad,” he says.

Franco’s father also taught him about the value of kindness. “I developed a willingness to meet new people and be friendly to strangers,” he says. “You never know how important someone can be until you take the first step and give them a chance.”

In July 2008 and 2009, Franco hosted visiting foreign students in the American Life and Culture Summer Conference provided through Young Hall.

“I was the head counselor of the American students,” Franco says. “We spent all of July with students from China showing them around Indiana and Purdue. That was probably one of my favorite moments at Purdue.”

Although neither of Franco’s parents attended Purdue, he knows he made the right decision. “I got really good offers from both IU and Purdue,” he says. “I definitely made the better choice.”
Purdue will continue to be Franco’s home for the next two years as he completes graduate school, after which he plans to attend medical school. “I’m going to be in school forever,” he says. “But I like it.”

— Mackenzie Greenwell

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