AmeriCorps Spotlight: David Cash

 David William Cash, CPRS

Title: Student Coordinator at CARITAS Works

What that means: I am a proud and happy member of the CARITAS Works team. We work together to help each person in the Works program discover their individual talents and translate those into marketable workforce skills. Specifically, I work one-on-one with the students helping them learn and strengthen their computer skills (more than just Candy Crush and Facebook!). I also assist them in composing their elevator speeches, personal statements, and cover letters. On top of all that, collaborating with our volunteers, I help the students develop professional resumes and hone their interviewing skills. All of this work culminates with me supporting them in their search to land a job that is going to propel them forward in life. Frequently, I am asked to give my valued opinion on their professional work attire as well. In short, I experience the joy of walking with the students as they discover their true purpose in life and bring it to fruition.

Background: I was born in upstate New York. However, I spent my childhood years in Virginia (Chester) and teenage years in Yardley, Pa., a suburb just northeast of Philadelphia. During my freshman year of college, I moved to Orlando, Fl. to pursue a Zoo-keeping career. During that 8 year career, I was introduced to Zoo Medicine. Over the next 20 years, I worked as a veterinary technician, eventually leading me back to Virginia. After moving back, I studied Physical Therapy and Microbiology at Shenandoah University but discovered that neither was the path for me. I relocated to the Richmond area in August of 2016 to address some personal issues. I entered and completed The Healing Place and CARITAS Works programs. After commencement, I brought my caring and compassionate approach to others’ needs into a role as a Peer Mentor at The Healing Place. While working at The Healing Place, I furthered my education in substance abuse support and became a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist in October of 2017. I currently serve with AmeriCorps as a Student Coordinator in the CARITAS Works program.

Hobbies & Interests: My love for nature and wildlife has developed into a strong interest in many outdoor activities including mountain biking, trail-running, kayaking, hiking, and camping. I am starting to discover the diverse music scene in Richmond and love going to catch unique live performances.

I Most Want To Visit: Borneo! Specifically, The Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation as a volunteer (six-month commitment). It is an Indonesian non-profit NGO (non-governmental organization) dedicated to the conservation of the endangered Bornean orangutan and its habitat, through the involvement of local people. Their motto: A secure future for orangutans, free and safe in their natural habitat, living in harmony with local people.

Favorite Place I’ve Lived: Richmond is starting to get there. I love that I can head east for an hour and hit the beach, head west for an hour and hit the mountains and The James River is in my backyard. Plus, as I stated earlier, the music scene rocks! Richmond offers all that I love. Plus I’m close to my family, most of whom are in Fredericksburg and Northern Virginia. Richmond is… WINNING!

I Can’t Live Without:  The support and love of my family and friends; and the strength, peace, and serenity I receive through my spiritual connection.

Best Part Of My Service Position: Seeing people in the Works program have that “ah-ha” moment. The moment when each person discovers they have unique hidden and (sometimes) unpolished talents. Then watching their happiness grow when they harness those talents and ride with them; to become caring, productive members of their community.