Our Proud to Serve recipient for February served 8 years in the Army after surviving some of the toughest neighborhoods in St. Louis. As an 11-year old, he remembered watching the coverage of 9/11 and a seed was planted. He knew when he was old enough, he wanted to serve our country so something like 9/11 never happened again. But he had to survive. Before he turned 21, he attended over 10 funerals of young people who lost their lives to violence.
In the Army, he repaired roads, did hands-on labor with masonry, concrete, asphalt and more. Together with his young family, they returned to civilian life and to his surprise, it was really difficult to find a job. But, he still found a way to spend time mentoring young teens in juvenile detention centers in the City and County. Today, he continues to make connections with kids awaiting their sentence encouraging them to dig deep into setting goals, not allowing their current situation to define their future. David says he asks to work with some of the hardest teens hoping to break down barriers and help them feel a connection to someone outside the prison.
David has a full-time job but is working very hard to build his start-up business so he can employ veterans in the future. His local business is called Grab N Go Trash, a valet trash and recycling service targeting multi-family communities, property managers, and residents.
David and his peers from 100 Black Men of St. Louis focus on mentoring, fundraising and giving back to their community. David’s fiancee nominated him for our Proud to Serve award. She said:
Ever since David got out of the military he spends two days a week mentoring young boys at the juvenile detention center. Even before he had a job and was employed and had to borrow gas money to get there he always put an effort into ensuring he was there for those boys. He was in the army for over 8 years and has always been a selfless person who will
Always go the distance for others. It warms his heart to serve his community and to be there as an outlet for young men in the system. He’s constantly looking for ways to help others and his community. Fundraisers to mentoring, to serving kids every year at the 100 black men Christmas fundraiser. St. louis is home to David and he was born and raised here. He is one amazing veteran and needs recognition!
If you would like to nominate someone for our Proud to Serve Salute, click here.