David Berlin was a Mary McDowell Friends School student from 2003 until 2007. Because MMFS did not have a high school back then, he left after 8th grade to attend The Summit School, a high school in Queens. After graduation, he enrolled in a postsecondary program at Riverview School in East Sandwich, MA that had a connection to Cape Cod Community College. He left Riverview after two years, found an apartment on Cape Cod with a roommate, and worked towards his associate’s degree in Arts with a concentration in Human Services at Cape Cod Community College. Because of his time at Riverview, he already had a connection with the college, which made the transition (and decision) that much easier.
After what David describes as four long, hard years, he completed his associate’s degree in May of 2016. Everyone at Cape Cod Community College was understanding of his learning disability and honored his individual support plan. He used his tape recorder and his laptop all the way through college to record lectures and take notes. He decided to concentrate in Human Services because his parents are very much involved in giving back to the community.
After college, David moved to White Plains, NY. He commutes into Manhattan to work as a helpdesk support technician at JASA, a social service agency that supports the elderly. As a member of the IT department, he assists JASA employees with computer problems and creates new user accounts for new workers.
David has been interested in airplanes since he was born and has been flying them since his 13th birthday, under the wing of his mentor and flying instructor, Captain Rob. In August of 2008, David took former MMFS movement specialist Ellynne Skove as his first passenger in a plane that he co-piloted. She reported that she was very impressed with how relaxed, talkative, funny, focused, and clearly in his element David was as the captain of the plane.
David says that Mary McDowell had a positive impact on his life. His years at MMFS opened his mind to the blue skies, and he values the support that he received from the faculty and staff.