The D.C. State Board of Election has a new student representative following the Oct. 23 swearing-in of Friendship Collegiate Academy senior Daniel Spruill.
Spruill, 17, of Southeast Washington, D.C., said he was ecstatic about his inclusion on the board and was eager to contribute his thoughts on improving education in D.C.
While student representatives are non-voting members, the board recognizes Spruill as a full member. State board student representatives serve as liaisons between state education officials and the students of Washington, D.C.
“I want to change education at my school,” Spruill said. “One of my ideas [to the State Board] is to get the next generation involved in computer science. Computer science is revolutionary and it expands horizons. I want this generation involved in the mastery of it.”
Crediting his college counselor, Dr. Shairzay, for introducing him to computer science, Spruill urged younger students to “keep your mind open and stay open to all ideas. The worst thing you could do is close doors for yourself.”
The high school senior admitted that he didn’t always understand nor have a passion for computer science.
“[Computer science] gets such a bad rep, especially on T.V. Popular belief would tell you that it’s nerdy or boring. Just a bunch of guys staring at computer screens all day,” he said. But Spruill, following his counselor’s advice, enrolled in an AP computer science class his junior year and discovered a new love.
“Now I’m getting my friends involved in it,” he said. “I’m even teaching my 12-year-old brother computer science and he really likes it.”
Spruill also has a strong passion for electrical engineering. After graduating this spring, Spruill plans to pursue a double major in computer science and engineering, and then earn a law degree. He has applied for a scholarship with the Gates Millennium Scholars Program, which, if accepted, would pay his full tuition from his bachelor’s degree up through his doctorate.
The state board’s newest student representative said he always dreamed of using his education to pursue a career in politics, but now dreams of starting his own business. He said he admires corporations like Apple and hopes to create a similar business.
“I want to start a business that helps people meet their needs,” he said. “I want to change the world.”