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.
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.
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.