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CSUEB grad student rides a tough life to AT & T scholarship, bright future

Image of David Fuller and Leroy Morishita

Cal State East Bay President Leroy M. Morishita nominated grad student David Fuller (left) for CSU scholar recognition. They were together at the Office of the Chancellor in Long Beach when Fuller was presented as an AT&T Scholar in late September. (Photo: CSU)

  • November 6, 2013 12:00am

Cal State East Bay grad student David Fuller has ridden a steep up-and-down route in life that has taken him from being homeless as a youngster to becoming a select Marine appointed to protect then-President Bill Clinton at the White House and Camp David during the 1990s.

He was recently honored by the California State University system as a 2013 “AT&T Scholar” and was the recipient of a $6,000 scholarship. Both awards were symbolic of how the father of two young daughters strives to conquer life challenges complicated by poverty and a series of family tragedies.

Despite all of the challenges and tragic setbacks in his life, Fuller remained committed to getting an education.

“My professors at Cal State East Bay invested themselves in me. They believed in me and reached out with loving hands to help pull me out of the darkness,” he said.

And with their support David Fuller earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology, with a 3.55 grade point average, and was honored as the Outstanding Psychology Student of the Year for Cal State East Bay in 2012-13. 

“He has persevered through loss and disability, and is now thriving academically in our Master’s in Social Work program,” said Cal State East Bay President Leroy M. Morishita, who nominated Fuller for his CSU honor as an AT&T Scholar. “I believe Mr. Fuller’s academic accomplishments, his commitment to serve the disenfranchised, and his sheer determination to overcome more than his share of life obstacles, rendered him a strong candidate for this award.”

He currently is working on his graduate degree in social work, with a concentration in community mental health, while serving as an intern at the Veterans Administration in Livermore helping military veterans who have post-traumatic stress disorder. Fuller also is chaplain of The East Bay Rats, a motorcycle club in Oakland.

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