By Aidan Judge
Hard work and dedication are no stranger to NAHS senior Dylan Desrosiers. Whether it’s creating PPE for first responders during a pandemic, working on STEM projects to gain more engineering knowledge, or running 5ks to gain more fitness, there’s one word that describes Desrosiers: Devoted.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the small town of North Attleboro in March of 2020, then-junior Dylan Desrosiers didn’t want to sit around and wait for help to come his way. As a matter of fact, he got directly involved himself.
Hundreds of local doctors and nurses were overwhelmed beyond belief due to the severity of the pandemic, and Desrosiers took this as a call to action. With his very own 3D printer, he digitally designed a protective face shield and printed over three-thousand replicas, hand-assembling each one. Was he sternly determined? You could definitely say so.
“I love helping other people! My family is friends with many first responders and nurses/doctors, and we could see how much they were struggling during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. After doing some research and talking to these groups of people, I determined that making PPE would be a great way to help,” says Desrosiers.
Although working on the project was time-consuming and seemingly insurmountable at times, Desrosiers says it was an unforgettable experience that brought his family even closer together.
“Being able to work on this project as a family during quarantine was great. It brought us closer together and gave us something to do, since there really wasn’t much to do in the beginning,” he states.
Healthcare workers are among many of the different types of people Desrosiers is working with in the North Attleboro Public Schools system. Desrosiers has collaborated with a wide variety of the town’s personnel, including STEM leaders, NAHS science club members, and even the town’s school committee, all of which can attest to his hard-working qualities.
“Regardless of how long or short the timespan for a project is, I can always count on Dylan to get work done… Over the last 6-7 years, we have worked on many projects and committees together and his ability to focus and complete anything makes him stand out among a crowd,” says comrade Shruti Srinivasan.
Longtime English teacher Mrs. Violette, who has had Desrosiers in class multiple times throughout his high school career, had great things to say as well.
“Dylan is an incredibly mature student who cares about his school and his community deeply. From the beginning of his freshman year, it was evident that Dylan understood what it means to be a part of a community, and as he has moved through the school, his impact has been tremendous. He knows what it takes to get a job done, and is a selfless worker who doesn’t look for recognition, despite the fact that he deserves a lot of it!” Violette says.
Helping healthcare workers wasn’t the only thing Desrosiers picked up during early lockdown, however. He also states that he created an elaborate fitness plan (with about every form of cardiovascular exercise you can imagine) as a new way to stay determined and get in shape, all of which culminated with a race for the local North Attleboro High School Music Department in June.
“With the extra time I had during quarantine, I created a fitness plan of biking, hiking, walking, running, and strength exercises. I also ran my first 5K in June,” Desrosiers says.
As the year passes by quickly due to the repetitive nature of 2020, Desrosiers finds himself in the most exciting and terrifying part of every teenager’s life: applying to college.
While he isn’t exactly sure which universities make up his dream list, Desrosiers is confident that he wants to continue with his passion for STEM in the next four years. The kind of STEM he wants to pursue is the bigger question.
“I’m not sure exactly what I want to do for a major. It could be something in the STEM field, like Electrical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Surveying, or Architecture, or maybe even Graphic Design or Communications. I have lots of things that I’m interested in but just don’t know what to choose,” he says.
As his high school experience comes to a close, Desrosiers is taking a handful of life experiences with him as he pursues a life outside of his small town. He even has advice for future seniors.
“My best advice would be to not overload yourself. It’s important to have time to work on college applications and other important things for your future. And make sure you make time to have fun, too! This is the last year you have with all of your friends that you’ve known for a very long time… next year in college will be completely different,” he says.
Fellow classmate Josie Doucette says she will miss seeing his involvement with the community as the senior class of 2021 goes their separate ways.
“I’m gonna miss seeing how involved he was with so many different aspects of the school. He really made a change in North Attleboro,” says Doucette.
As the unpredictable year of 2020 continues, Desrosiers also acknowledges that it can be difficult to stay positive. However, he says that trying to stay positive is the key to what is helping him get through the pandemic.
“I just try to keep a positive attitude. While it’s likely that we might have a second wave, I am also trying to not think about it too much and stay hopeful that we’ll be safe,” he says confidently.
If there’s one thing to take away about Dylan Desrosiers, it’s that you can always count on him to work his hardest, and that having passion and determination will always lead to success. He has certainly made a mark on North Attleboro, and without a doubt, he will make a mark on the world in the future.