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David Nelson

​California State University, Northridge
Edison International Scholar

Through all my difficulties in life, I will never forget how much it meant to me as a kid to have someone there for me, whether it was a relative, teacher or a friend."

Growing up, David Nelson never expected to go to college. His father was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and when David was 14, his mother died after a three-month battle with breast cancer. Within days of her death, David’s family lost their home because of overwhelming medical bills. 

David turned these challenges into inspiration. His love for math and science drove him into majoring in mechanical engineering at California State University, Northridge. At CSU Northridge, he volunteers, helping students struggling with math and physics. He also is part of CSU Northridge’s drone research program, which lets him apply what he’s learned in the classroom to realworld situations.

After graduation, David hopes to work in the aerospace industry where he plans to contribute to the development of aerospace technology.