Captain David Schnell served in the US Navy for more than 26 years, commanding two warships, the USS Ford and the USS Peleliu. Captain David Schnell now sits on the board of California-based Walden Family Services, which serves youth in the San Diego, Los Angeles, and Riverside areas.
As part of its efforts to assist youth in need, Walden Family Services operates a transitional housing and foster care program that serves youth between 18 and 21. With 65 percent of youth aging out of the foster care system without a home, this age group often requires additional support services.
Through the organization’s unique transitional housing and foster care program, young adults benefit from both individual and group therapy to learn to cope with stress related to domestic violence and substance abuse, among other stressors.
Youth also learn a variety of basic life skills, such as developing healthy relationships, preparing meals, managing a budget, and searching for jobs. To participate in the program, they must also agree to deposit at least $25 into a savings account as part of their measures to live independently upon graduation.
A retired officer of the US Navy, Captain David Schnell served for 27 years in a variety of leadership roles. He commanded two US Navy warships, the USS Ford and the USS Peleliu, and earned several awards for his military service. In retirement, Captain David Schnell sits on the board of Walden Family Services, an adoption, foster care, and youth services organization that serves San Diego, California, and its surrounding communities.
One of the many programs that Walden offers is a 16-week parenting course for parents between the ages of 13 and 24. As part of Walden’s FAMILY (Fathers and Mothers who are Inspired, Loving, and Young) program, the parenting classes seek to assist individuals and couples with children under the age of 5. The program helps participants develop skills crucial to healthy parenting, including self-awareness, self-esteem, empathy, and good communication. To increase accessibility, the classes are held at various schools and community centers throughout San Bernardino County. Graduates of the 16-week course receive child- and baby-care items from Walden Family Services.
A decorated United States Navy officer, Captain David Schnell assumed command of the USS Peleliu (LHA 5) on September 4, 2009, during a change-of-command ceremony aboard the Tarawa-class amphibious assault vessel. The ship’s 19th commanding officer and its first surface warfare officer, Captain David Schnell was serving as the Peleliu’s commanding officer during the 2010 floods that affected a full one-fifth of Pakistan’s total land area.
During the crew’s 18-month mission to embark, deploy, and land U.S. Marine Corps troops in support of U.S. military action abroad, it was called upon by the government of Pakistan to assist in aid relief to the country’s flooded Arabian Sea coast. The crew delivered goods and emergency supplies to the towns and villages in need with the assistance of Pakistan’s government and military. In total, the U.S. military helped rescue more than 3,000 people and moved nearly 150,000 kilograms of supplies into the country.
Before his retirement after 27 years of service, Navy Captain David Schnell commanded two U.S. Navy warships. He currently holds the position of general manager of Los Angeles Metro Express Lanes with the Americas Commercial & State Government Transportation Group, a Xerox subsidiary. A devoted server of his community, David Schnell is on the board of Walden Family Services.
Inspired by 19th century writer Henry David Thoreau’s vision of every person’s potential, Walden Family Services began its caring for young people by finding single-family homes for children living in group institutions. Serving a large part of southern California, the organization believes that all children should have a loving family and the chance to realize their potential, both for themselves and their communities. With this goal in mind they support children by creating nurturing and lasting relationships.
Walden Family Services is known today for its focus on supporting children through their foster care years, especially those with special health needs, developmental disabilities, and behavioral and emotional challenges, as well as youth who identify as LGBT. Its services also include finding temporary or long term foster care families for youth who need to escape home environments which may include physical abuse, substance abuse, mental illness, and neglect.