High School: Atlantic County Institute of Technology
Parents: Issac and Sherri Lilienfeld
Community/school activities Runs own community service project, “David’s Digital Donations,” through which he refurbishes old laptops and computers for those in need.
Post-high school plans Cornell University to study computer science.
Career goals Software or AI engineer
How does your dedication as a student translate into your life outside of school?I really want to put a lot of effort into each of the things that I do. That’s just a really important trait to have, to be driven. ... Even in my sports, I really find its important that I push myself and ... I try to be better than everyone else because I want to be either at the same level or above people — not so it makes it easier for me, but so I have a much better experience.
Why did you start David’s Digital Donations and how do you hope to continue that sort of service into the future?I started David’s Digital Donations back in sixth grade (as a Bar Mitzvah project). I didn’t want to just give money out to people. I didn’t think there was enough character involved in that. And I also wanted to do something that really fit my interest and helped people.
(He collected computers from people and financial donations and was able to restore 12 computers for others.)
It was around that time I noticed that not everybody lives like me, not everybody has the kind of privileges that I have. Even just going in with that kind of mindset, it really broadened my view even more. That drove me a lot.
(After a lull, David restarted the project in 2020 and is working with Boys and Girls Club of Atlantic City to donate computers.)
How has your faith played a role in developing you into the person you are today?I find faith has a very strong connection with the building of my original principles and my values, and a lot of that has to do with service. To feel like myself, I need to do things for others.
Why is it important that young people become leaders in their community?As kids get older, we’re eventually going to become the leaders of the entire world,” David said. “A lot of times us kids can make the most change, especially amongst other kids.
— Claire Lowe
Contact Claire Lowe: 609-272-7251