Former Pioneer Charter Students Returns from Harvard to Help Others

When Everett’s David Menjivar graduated from Pioneer Charter School, he was celebrated as the first student from the Everett charter to go to Harvard University.

After attending the Parlin School and then transferring to Pioneer for a greater challenge, he used the charter school as a springboard to land at Harvard University – where he flourished and graduated to become a price analyst for Stop & Shop.

With such a great future ahead, many might think Menjivar, 22, would put Everett in the rear-view mirror as he headed for a new future.

But that hasn’t been the case, as Menjivar has made a point of returning to Pioneer to tutor students who are starting out just as he did.

“Now that I’ve graduated college, I’ve decided I should give back,” he said. “I felt Pioneer gave me so much in terms of educational advice and support. The best way I could give back is to tutor students who need help. I specialize in mathematics and I have a passion for math.”

Since the beginning of this school year, Menjivar has returned to Everett on Saturday mornings – though he does still live in the city – to tutor kids from Pioneer.

It’s a school he knows and loves as much as the subject of math.

He said he moved to Everett when he was 10 from Boston, and first attended the Parlin School. However, he said he wasn’t challenged there and had completed the seventh and eighth-grade curriculum by the time he was in sixth grade.

When he came to Pioneer in 2008 as a seventh-grader, he said he was immediately challenged and enjoyed the smaller classes – as well as the opportunity to tutor classmates while still in school. He said the school is like one big family, so when he graduated and got into Harvard, it was a celebration for his family and his school.

“It was an even more amazing situation because it was my grandmother’s dream for me to go to Harvard,” he said. “She came here 30 years ago from Peru and always had a dream that I would attend and graduate from Harvard. It was invaluable to help her complete that dream for me. That was the best feeling in the world.”

And that’s precisely why Menjivar decided that helping other students realize those same dreams for themselves and their families could also be just as great a feeling.

“Math is one of the most difficult and disliked subjects in school,” he said. “One of my hopes is to not only pass on my knowledge and love for math, but also to help kids not stray from their purpose. I hope I can inspire them with math and with school in general, because I was a student not long ago sitting in those same seats.”

Menjivar is studying for the GMAT with a plan to be in the 95th percentile by the end of the summer. He hopes to go to business school in the fall of 2020 and he is applying to Harvard Business School and the Questrom School of Business at Boston University. In the meantime he is working hard to achieve a promotion at Stop & Shop while he continues to give back to his community by helping Pioneer students with their math and science.

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