Meet David Buchanan:
David Buchanan, age 35, works as an influential chemist for the Unimin Corporation in Spruce Pine, NC. His inspiring story tells how he got his start at Mayland’s Learning Lab, and how reaching out for help really paid off.
David Allen Buchanan was born to Dean and Mary Buchanan on July 21, 1977 in Johnson City, Tennessee. David remembers how much his mother stressed education and how she read to him constantly. David now enjoys reading stories to his two young children, carrying on his mother’s tradition. He respects his parents very much and credits his good home foundation to part of his success.
At age seventeen, David wasn’t sure what he wanted to do with his life. Fresh out of high school, he came to Mayland’s Learning Lab for some guidance.With the help of the Learning Lab’s instructors, David brushed up on math and other skills that would help him in college. He says, “They provided invaluable resources at no additional cost.” David went on to say, “The instructors leveled out my stumbling blocks in math; they were very patient and caring.”
After less than a year at Mayland, and with more confidence in his academic skills, David decided to pursue college. He attended East Tennessee State University for one year and then transferred to Mars Hill to complete hisdegree. While attending Mars Hill, David held the esteemed position of lab assistant to his organic chemistry professor. His professor said he was the “most conscientious student in the class.” David is still in contact and good friends with his professor today. David graduated from Mars Hill with a Bachelors of Science in Chemistry. This was an equally ironic and impressive accomplishment considering David disliked chemistry in high school. David said once he got to college, chemistry “just clicked” (a great lesson to try things more than once).
David now uses his degree to work as a chemist for Unimin Corporation. In a nutshell, he describes his work as “elementally analyzing natural materials to tell Unimin what’s in their sand.” David enjoys his work, and says the best part is the financial security he can provide for his family. He knows that his college education is what has allowed him to work this “non- physically demanding, stable job.” David encourages students to come into the Learning Lab for help. He says that, without their help, he wouldn’t have been as successful in college. David’s advice to students is: “Don’t think anything is limited. I never imagined I would go this far. There were hard times at first, but the Learning Lab made it easier.”