Where are they now?
Abe Drechsler was a hard-working team player who graduated in 2008 from Davie County High School. He received both the Davie County Crosby and Rotary Club of Mocksville Scholarships from the Foundation to attend North Carolina State University.
The classes at Davie High helped guide Abe in the right direction for college study. “Thanks to Matt Wilson’s drafting classes at Davie, I knew I wanted to study engineering, architecture or related fields. I attended NC State for civil engineering but after a year of calculus, physics, and engineering chemistry, I realized I needed a creative outlet. I transferred to the 5-year architecture program and didn’t look back,” said Abe.
“The scholarships I received helped my family afford 6 years of undergraduate education (1 in engineering, 5 in architecture). The scholarships allowed me to better determine what I wanted to do and be successful in my chosen field of study.”
Abe received a professional degree in Architecture from NC State, and went on to practice in NC, TX, and PA. He has worked on a wide range of project types including single family affordable housing, University dormitories, laboratory science facilities, and a 1,000,000+ sq. ft. hospital complex. As he developed in his career, he realized that he enjoyed developing tools and processes for architectural design. It motivated him to transition out of traditional practice and into a software design role. Abe now works for a startup that is developing software for housing construction where he focuses on automating design and documentation processes.
“I love coming back to Davie County to visit family and friends,” said Abe. “For one of my architectural planning courses, I researched and wrote a 20-page paper on the ‘urban history and planning of Mocksville.’ Every time I’m home I try to walk up and down Salisbury and Main streets and admire some of the impressive historic structures along the walk.”
When asked about important lessons learned along the way, Abe shared the following:
“When I applied to transfer to NCSU’s architecture program I was initially denied and was very discouraged. A professor nudged me to meet with the department head and ask again. This encouraged me to persistently meet with and check in with the architecture department head until I was eventually accepted. This was a great lesson in persistence and human interaction. A “no” on paper doesn’t always mean “no.”
“Also, on a number of occasions colleagues have commented on my rigor and openness to feedback. I believe these habits manifested themselves during my time in high school and in the design school at NC State. You can never be perfect, there’s always room to grow, and you shouldn’t compete with the other folks in the room but should rather be the best version of your own standard.”
His advice for college students; “Academics and specific knowledge are great, but soft skills and ethics will take you farther. Learning grit, determination, and rigor is transferable across any field or profession.”
Abe is currently living in Shepherdstown, WV with his wife and two children. He stated that he is “grateful for the great education and upbringing I received in Davie County, and believe it was foundational to my success today.” We are very proud to have been a small part of shaping Abe into the man he is today!