David Townsend, Founder & Executive Director of The Home of Opportunities and Dreams Inc
Pictured with Michael Cadore Sr., President Magnus Solutions Inc.https://linkedin.com/in/michaelaelacadoresr “If you don’t serve your community now, don’t expect your community to serve you later”.
I, David C. Townsend, was born in Danbury, CT, and moved to Springfield, MA, at a young age. My brother Phil and I were raised primarily by my mother, Carrie, in a single parent home until age 9. Two days before my 8th birthday, my mother gave birth to my youngest brother Bryan.
My mother provided a loving, nurturing, and stable home for my brothers and me. She always placed our needs in front of her own. My stepfather, Daniel Carter, became the primary male role model in my life at age 9. He was the first male outside of my maternal grandfather and uncles to make a positive impact on my life.
We were raised in an inner city urban environment (Springfield, MA Housing Authority – Robinson Gardens Housing Projects). We would have been considered part of the lower social-economic bracket, but our parents did not allow us to feel like that. Also, everyone we grew up around were in that bracket. As a child I did not feel the stigma associated with poverty that I now know exist. I attribute this not only to the sacrifice of my parents but to the strength and closeness of the community.
My childhood and teenage years were influenced by access to America’s Promise, Five Promises which were not formally identified until years later. My participation in extracurricular and outside of school activities provided me with the opportunity to be mentored by and learn from caring adults. As youth we also had access to safe places with structured activities such as The Boys and Girls Club of America, Family Center, Greenleaf Community Center, and local church gymnasiums. These activities got us outside the home and nurtured a healthy start. After school community programs like the Boy Scouts of America & Junior Achievement, taught marketable skills using an effective curriculum and provided us the opportunity to serve by giving back. My access to these essential resources reinforced messages being taught at home and in school. These things afforded me the opportunity for maturity and personal growth.
I graduated high school in 1985 and moved to Kentucky to live with my grandmother and attend college at Eastern Kentucky University. In 1987, my sophomore/Junior year as an undergrad student I joined both Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Incorporated and the Kentucky Army National Guard. Both of these organizations have had a positive and lasting impact on my maturity, growth, and development throughout my adult life.
In August 1990 I was selected for a full time position with the Kentucky Army National Guard. I remained on Active Duty until 1996. From August 2006 thru August 2007 I was deployed to Camp Taji, Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. During my military career I am most proud of my opportunities to serve others, earning two Humanitarian Service Medals for Service during Hurricane Andrew (1993) and Hurricane Katrina (2005). I retired from the Kentucky Army National Guard in December 2012 after 25 years of service.
In 2000, while working as a custodian, at Somerset High School I decided to return to school to complete my undergraduate education. In 2003 I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Social Work. I worked for the Department of Community Based Services as a child protective worker from 2003 until 2012. I resigned from the DCBS to complete my graduate studies in education. In December 2012 I graduated from the University of the Cumberlands, with a Masters of Arts in Teaching.
My adult life has been defined by my service to others, my community, and nation in several capacities. The motto of my fraternity, “Culture for Service and Service for Humanity”, has been instrumental in my maturity as an adult and placing such a high regard on service.
My family includes my wife Tammy, and our children Courtney, Taylor, DJ, Mackenzie, and Tanner. We have four grandchildren, Dan,Lilly, Charlotte, and Deacon.