Formerly a warship commander in the US Navy, Captain David Schnell holds responsibilities as an executive with a Xerox subsidiary and as executive director of the Christ Kitchen nonprofit agency. Captain David Schnell also serves on the board of Walden Family Services of San Diego.
The agency began in 1978, with the mission of supporting youth before and after their experience in foster homes. Its transitional housing-plus-foster-care program addresses the needs of the 65 percent of California children who have no home after emancipation at age 18.
Walden was one of the first groups in California to provide foster care until age 21, provided individuals continued their education and obtained employment. The organization provides necessary structure while encouraging youth to develop life skills such as job-hunting, budgeting, preparing meals, and attending to their studies.
Through Walden’s therapy services, participants work through issues, such as domestic violence and substance abuse. Crisis counseling also is available at all times. Further, mentors help with the challenges of employment and parenting.
Walden also provides access to necessities, such as SAT preparation, school supplies, driving instruction, and public transportation. Uniforms and clothing for job interviews are also made available.