Los Gatos Patch Whiz Kid of the Week—David Zhang

Expert student debater, artist, athlete also excels in academics and his key to success is to 'be different.'

David Zhang, Age 16

School: Junior at Los Gatos High School


  • Once ate two foot-long sandwiches from Subway in one sitting and still felt hungry
  • Swam varsity, competitively for a while
  • Captain of LGHS Speech and Debate Team, 2013-14
  • Won competitions in art, likes to do art, has been doing art for 10 years
  • Survived AP Physics (for now)

Key to Awesomeness: "Be different. If there is one thing I hate, it's copycats. Don't let other people's judgment and dogma be your guiding principle in life. Let your own judgment and dogma be your guiding principle. This may sound cliched, but it is damn right true," writes David in an email interview about his key to success.

"Stay focused. Stay efficient. Plan things out. Always be 10 steps ahead. Think things through before doing them. I learned this the hard way back in middle school. Organization and time management are key to success, achievement, all that good stuff."

He adds: "Most importantly, keep going. If life seems to get harder, you've just leveled up. Think of failure as success. I am probably more relieved by failing than by succeeding, because failure is positive growth. Failure builds character. It makes you a better person. I would put all of my failures on my accomplishments list, but I am too egotistical of a person to do that. Whatever you do, don't believe the illusion that failure is the end. Failure is the beginning."

Sheila Sanchez February 06, 2013 at 10:30 PM
David! Congratulations! Love you key to awesomeness! You are truly awesome! Keep up the great work and tell you mom and dad they've done a great job raising such a fine young man as yourself. You're wise beyond your years!
Jesse Ducker February 06, 2013 at 10:42 PM
Good stuff about not fearing failure. And eating two foot-longs is always impressive. Ah, to be young with a fast metabolism...
Chopstixthebook February 06, 2013 at 11:13 PM
How does someone so young come up with such wisdom? David, I hope you don't mind if I print your Keys to Awesomeness and post it on the wall in my office!!!!
Sheila Sanchez February 06, 2013 at 11:21 PM
He's also super funny! He provided us with his weight, height, ethnicity and occupation, saying he's "currently unemployed like 7.9 percent of Americans, unfortunately."
Julian Groft February 07, 2013 at 06:39 PM
of course.....


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