David Howard was young—really young—when he made a big decision.
“I knew I wanted to be an engineer, and I knew I wanted to go to WPI,” Howard says. “Ever since elementary school, I wanted to go to WPI.”
Now Howard is a member of the Class of 2020, with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. Like other Worcester natives in his class, he’s leaving WPI with a sense of pride in both his community and his university.
“At first, Worcester was just the place where I lived, but at WPI, I gained a sense of pride about being from Worcester,” Howard says.
The Class of 2020 includes 28 students who attended high schools in Worcester before coming to WPI. Those who grew up near the university say WPI has long been part of their Worcester experience.
Howard’s brother, Matthew Howard, graduated from WPI in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in architectural engineering and received a master’s degree in management this year.
Tauny Tambolleo was a student with David Howard at Worcester Arts Magnet School, an elementary school, when the school principal told her mother about Camp Reach, WPI’s award-winning summer program for girls. Tambolleo enrolled, and the experience influenced her decision years later to attend WPI.
“I knew people here already,” says Tambolleo, who is receiving a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. “All of these connections made the transition to college a little bit easier.”
Justin Amevor, who is receiving a bachelor’s degree in computer science, drove past the campus daily while attending the Abby Kelley Foster Charter Public School in Worcester. His brother, Denzel Amevor, graduated from WPI in 2015.
“Stepping onto the campus, it was a place I was already familiar with,” Amevor says.