This summer, visitors might see Davis, a native of Springfield, Ohio, sitting at Silver Lake College’s Welcome Desk at the Ariens Family Welcome Center.
What they may not know is that he has an additional third-shift job at a local firm, plus two evening classes at the college. That’s in addition to the extra classes he took during his sophomore year so he could graduate in the spring of 2016.
“It’s not easy, I can tell you that,” Davis said. “Every day I tell myself that graduation is just around the corner. I’m doing it to have a better future. I’m setting myself up to succeed in life.”
During a typical summer, Davis would be at home, working at a summer job, playing basketball, and hanging out with friends and family.
This summer, as part of an internship at the college’s Welcome Center, Davis greets people at the front desk, answers phones, does filing, updates computer databases and gives tours to college visitors. That’s during the day.
At night, he works in packaging at Northern Labs, which produces liquid and paste products at its Manitowoc plant.
On Wednesday evenings, the psychology major attends a Stress Management class. And on Thursday evenings he attends a Social Methods class.
In order to maintain such a full schedule, he has to make sure his homework is done on the weekends.
When does he sleep? Typically from 3 to 10 p.m., Davis said.
If he has to work mandatory overtime at his third-shift job, his sleep suffers.
“If I don’t get enough sleep I get cranky, but I never show it,” Davis said.
A member of the Silver Lake College men's basketball team, Davis, 20, is the recipient of the Francis and Georgia Ariens Endowed Scholarship, a Silver Lake College Gala Scholarship and an athletic scholarship, among others.
Davis came to Silver Lake College to play basketball, but also got to try his skills in soccer and has been enjoying the smaller class sizes.
“I like having the teachers engage you in the class. I feel like they want us to learn and succeed in life. It feels like home even though I’m eight hours away,” Davis said.
He plans to pursue social work, a career with a children’s protective services agency or a profession involving juvenile cases.
“I want to help people better their lives,” Davis said. “I hate seeing kids in the streets doing drugs, abandoned because their parents can’t take care of them like they should or their parents have a drug addiction or a drinking problem and the kids are going to school with bruises. I’d like to take them from that situation so they have a better life.”
His own life, which he described as growing up in safe neighborhoods with support of a loving family, was not the impetus for his career choice.
It was actually the popular television show “Law & Order” that inspired him to want to help others, Davis said with a grin.
“I know it’s going to be difficult,” he said of his chosen path. “There are going to be situations where I’ll see more than what I’m used to. But if it’s my job, I’ll have to do it. I have the mindset that I want to help the kid who’s in a bad situation.”