“I’ve failed over and over again in my life, and that is why I succeed.” -Michael Jordan

Ari Davis is the pride of Madison’s south side having attended Lincoln Elementary and Wright Middle School and starring every Saturday on the Southside Raiders football team. Currently, a senior at Madison West High School, Ari is the recent recipient of a $500 Race to Equity Scholarship, which he was awarded for his academic and leadership accomplishments.

After graduating in June 2016, Ari plans on attending a four-year college. He has been accepted at UW-Milwaukee, Carthage College and Morgan State University and hopes to study African-American history or communications. “I love learning about what has happened in the past that has led to our present,” Ari says. “I also love broadening my vocabulary and learning how to improve my writing ability.”

Among Ari’s accomplishments:
◆ Madison Rotary Youth Leadership Award
◆ Urban League’s Outstanding Young Person Recipient
◆ Congressman Mark Pocan’s Outstanding Young Person Award for Service to the Community
◆ Madison Links Outstanding Student Award
◆ Madison West High School Honor Roll (2014)
◆ Madison Spartan Basketball’s Madison Spartan Award
◆ Madison Spartans Basketball Team Most Valuable Player
◆ Madison Southside Raiders Football Team Most Valuable Player

We caught up with the very busy Ari to ask him a few questions about his experiences.

You’re a product of Madison public schools – how would you describe your experience?
Ari Davis: I’ve had a very good experience as a student in the Madison Metropolitan School District. All throughout my primary education, I have found teachers as well as students to be very supportive to me in terms of education. I’ve found most teachers are willing to invest extra time to help students — as long as we put the extra time in to learn too. Many of my classmates have become my best friends.

What do you want people to know about West High School?
Ari Davis:The extra-curricular activities and the support from students and teachers at West have to be the best part about going to Madison West High School. I had the privilege of being cast in “Multico 19” (A multicultural leadership group) and the experience has changed my life. I also was named co-president of the Madison West Black Student Union and I play basketball and volleyball for the Madison West varsity teams.

Who would you say has inspired you throughout your academic career?
Ari Davis:Sean Gray, Holly Walker, Shelton Kingcade, Suzanne Welles, Carolyn Konkol, Marques Flowers, Stacy Eslick, Kimberlee O’Donahue, Beth Lehman and of course my mother Andreal Davis. They are all people who showed love and care and supported me into becoming the person I am today.

What do you do in your free time?
Ari Davis:I love playing basketball, hanging out with friends and writing.