Davarion David, center, and Brittany Hoyt, assistant director at the Pirate Academic Success Center, talk to a summer school student about what the center has to offer while passing out popsicles on the mall Thursday. (Photos by Rhett Butler)

Students and their families didn’t just receive some popsicles to help cool down at East Carolina University's orientation. They also got assurances that if they can’t seem to hit their stride academically in the fall, help is right around the corner.

Rising sophomore Davarion David was passing out those icy treats Thursday, and he knows firsthand how the Pirate Academic Success Center (PASC) can help students. He even works there now.

“High school didn’t prepare us for anything in a college classroom,” he said, citing fast-talking professors, fast-moving lectures and classes where no one knows your name. “That was the biggest gut-punch.”

But a professor in COAD 1000, the first-year seminar class, saw the potential in David, a 4.0-GPA student in high school, and referred him to the PASC. There, he got involved in the Male Achievement Crew, a non-residential learning community that’s helping students improve their grades and stay in college.

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Originally published June 22, 2018. Written by Doug Boyd. Photo by Rhett Butler.

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