David grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan in the 1970s, just as factories were shutting down and people were starting to move away. Knowing that education was the only hope for a brighter future, David attended the University of Delaware, working his way through college as a bartender, and then went on to receive his Master’s from the University of Wisconsin.
In 1983, David drove into Baltimore, in a Chevy pickup truck, with a job offer and not much else to his name. While working at T. Rowe Price and volunteering as a mentor through Project RAISE, David learned firsthand about the cycle of drug use, violence and family deterioration in Baltimore: when a young kid he knew for years grew distant, fell into East Baltimore’s unforgiving drug trade, and shot another teenage boy. After that day, David committed himself to pursuing the kind of change that could prevent this from happening to other families.
In 1999, David became a trustee and Board chair of the Center for Urban Families, a workforce organization connecting Baltimore’s most disengaged citizens – former incarcerated individuals – with their families, communities and employment. More than 25,000 people have changed their lives through the programs offered at the Center for Urban Families.
David co-founded Green Street Academy, a public charter school in Southwest Baltimore, in 2010, where nearly 650 students are pursuing the kind of rigorous education that will help them build successful lives. David serves as the co-chair of the school’s Board of Trustees and one of the highest compliments he ever received was from a student, who when asked what they like most about GSA, answered, “I feel safe here.”
More than two decades later, David never forgets the role Baltimore played in his success. He is committed to bringing positive change to the city that he loves.