David Wilkerson’s involvement with volunteering for the Special Olympics has motivated him to bring similar ideas to Georgia Tech’s campus starting in the fall.
The McEachern soccer player has been active in volunteering with the Special Olympics for almost two years.
“I get to play soccer with kids with disabilities, and I really enjoy doing that,” Wilkerson said. “It’s really nice.”
Wilkerson’s passion for soccer and working with children with special needs is what is driving his plan.
“There’s a Living Learning Community at Georgia Tech,” he said. “They don’t have programs with Special Olympics, so I’m hoping to start something like that at Georgia Tech, where everybody can participate in Special Olympics.”
Wilkerson’s character, on and off the field, is what he will be remembered for at McEachern. His leadership, attitude, and work ethic earned him a spot as team captain his junior and senior years, and he was given the team’s Most Positive award.
A prime example of a student-athlete, Wilkerson graduated fourth in his class at McEachern and will major in mechanical engineering at Georgia Tech. He said he hopes to work for Tesla one day.
Wilkerson, who plays right back, began his soccer career at 6 years old, but the coronavirus pandemic brought his career to end about nine games too early.
Wilkerson said the seniors on the team had a hard time with the reality of not being able to play the sport with their teammates again. He said it was disappointing when he finally realized his soccer career was over, though he continues to rely on memories to keep his spirits up.
Wilkerson’s favorite memory came in a home playoff game against Etowah — the first time McEachern had hosted a playoff game in more than a decade. Though Etowah came out with a 2-1 win, it was the atmosphere he will always remember.
“There were a lot of people there, and it was probably my most exciting game I’ve played in,” Wilkerson said.