Sophomore David Saleh is committed to service and maximizing the impact he makes on those around him. While he was still attending Riley High School in South Bend, he began his military career and enlisted in the Army National Guard as a junior. “I wanted to join the military just to have that bigger purpose. I heard that it changes you for the better, so I wanted to see what that was about,” says David.
The summer between junior and senior year, he went to bootcamp and then returned to finish and earn his diploma. After high school graduation in 2021, David completed his job training for the Army as a motor transport operator. The day after he returned from his training, David began his freshman year at IU South Bend. “I believe in doing as much as I can and not letting time get wasted, especially when I have the energy and passion,” explains David.
Joining the military meant he wouldn’t have to worry about paying for college, so affordability wasn’t what drew David to IU South Bend, it was the chance to make a difference. “When I joined the military, I could have chosen any college I wanted. But what really drew me to IU South Bend was that it was more connected to home and I wanted to give back to my community.”
David is majoring in communication studies with a concentration in public relations and has also decided to pursue interpersonal communication. His career goal is the world of public relations, and he is particularly interested in the sports or travel industries. Along with his coursework, David also coaches football, cross country, and wrestling for Jefferson Middle School and girls wrestling at Riley High School and serves one weekend a month and two weeks a year in the summer in the Army National Guard in Hammond, Indiana.
He is also highly involved in campus student life as a Student Government Association Senator, a member of the Honors Program and Muslim Students Association, a first-year seminar peer mentor, an intern for the Raclin School of the Arts, and event coordinator for the Titan Vets, formerly known as Student Veterans Organization. “I am extremely blessed with all the opportunities given to me from the campus overall as well as my specific department. I’ve gotten so many people welcoming me and making me feel part of campus,” says David.