David Schnell is general manager of Los Angeles Express Lanes, a company that delivers technology solutions to the transportation industry involving electronic toll collection, commercial fleet operations, and motor vehicle services. He previously served in the Navy for 27 years and retired as a captain, having commanded two U.S. Navy warships. In addition to his current business responsibilities, David Schnell supports a number of charitable organizations, including volunteering as a counselor at Royal Family Kids Camp.
Royal Family Kids Camp strives to help children in foster care ages 6-12 have life-changing experiences in a Christian environment. In the United States, there are 3.6 million reports of children being abused, neglected, or abandoned every year. Young people who are part of the foster care system and have been subjected to abuse and neglect are encouraged to visit the camp for a week of sports, fishing, games, swimming, and generally having fun - all in a safe environment under the close guidance of a counselor.
Each counselor is rigorously trained to understand the effects of abuse and neglect on children - and each counselor is assigned only two campers, a mentor ratio that ensures that the counselors and campers truly get a chance to get to know each other. After the camp is over, there is a mentoring program to continue the special bonds that are created during the camp week, with the mentors and their mentees getting together for four hours each month with the goal of building a healthy and stable relationship. In the United States, 400,000 children are in the foster care system, and 74 percent of prison inmates were once in the system. Royal Family Kids Camp strives to shift this tragic pattern in a different direction, giving hope and creating connections for children that can change their lives forever.
The vice president of operations at the Electronic Tolling Collection division of Xerox, Captain David Schnell commanded two US Navy warships during his 27-year military career. A longtime community service advocate, Captain David Schnell serves as a counselor with Royal Family KIDS Camp.
A nonprofit organization dedicated to creating life-changing moments for children of abuse, Royal Family KIDS Camp offers a variety of camps for children between the ages of 6 and 12. Royal Family KIDS Camp also provides clubs and mentoring opportunities to help children stay connected after they leave camp.
After the final day of camp, Royal Family KIDS Camp matches campers with a trained mentor. Kids and their mentors participate in fun activities and enjoy a healthy adult-child relationship. Because the camper has established a relationship with the mentor at camp, the mentor relationship already contains an element of trust. In general, all mentors and caregivers must commit to at least nine months.
At the end of the day, mentorship provides an invaluable emotional and social resource for children recovering from abuse. To learn more about mentoring opportunities at Royal Family KIDS Camp, visit royalfamilykids.org.
The former Executive Officer of the USS Peleliu and USS Ford, Captain David Schnell currently serves as vice president of operations with the Xerox Electronic Tolling Collection division. Outside of his work with Xerox, Captain David Schnell recently joined the board of directors for Walden Family Services.
Walden Family Services believes that all children deserve a loving family that helps them become self-sufficient and productive members of society. The organization offers a number of youth services designed to improve outcomes for young people exiting foster care.
Walden Family Services works closely with former foster children ages 18-21, helping them transition to their lives as independent adults. The organization helps young adults earn their high school diploma or GED and apply for college scholarships and financial aid. Participants in the extended care program also receive employment assistance such as resume development and work readiness training.
For young parents with a child involved in First 5 San Bernardino, Walden Family Services provides a series of 16-week parenting classes at local educational facilities. Participants in the program develop empathy, self-esteem, and self-awareness, enabling them to meet the emotional and developmental needs of their children. After completing the course, participants receive assorted childcare items.
A retired captain who served in the United States Navy for nearly 30 years, David Schnell now works as an executive with the Xerox Corporation in California. He balances his professional activities with various charitable pursuits in his local community. Captain David Schnell serves as the executive director of Christ Kitchen and supports other organizations, such as Walden Family Services, a nonprofit that oversees programs to assist children in foster care.
In an effort to raise awareness and the funds needed to continue its work, Walden Family Services participates in a variety of events throughout the year. The organization recently partnered with several other local organizations to present RaiseAChild—MakeAHome as part of National Foster Care Awareness Month.
The event, which took place May 1, 2016, at the Jim Henson Lot in Hollywood, California, featured food tastings, cocktails, auctions, and live entertainment. In addition to offering a fun evening, the event honored special guests Jillian Michaels and Heidi Rhoades and helped raise much-needed funds for Walden Family Services, Penny Lane Centers, Adoptions at Vista Del Mar, and other groups.
Walden Family Services currently has several upcoming events scheduled, including Wine D’Vine. It will take place in La Jolla, California, on October 27, 2016, and will honor longtime youth advocates Harley and Maryanne Sefton as well as raise money for children and youth in the foster care system. For more information about upcoming Walden Family Services events, visit www.waldenfamily.org.
Captain David Schnell, general manager of Americas Commercial & State Transportation Group’s Los Angeles Express Lanes, has long been active in giving back to his community. Since his honorable discharge after a 27-year career in the US Navy, Captain David Schnell become a counselor at Royal Family Kid’s Camp, a nonprofit providing recreational opportunities for foster children.
Foster children can face difficult living situations, both in foster care and post-adoption. More than half of all children adopted from the foster care system have health care needs, as opposed to 19 percent of non-foster care children. Almost three-quarters of kids adopted from the foster care system have adoptive parents who suspect their child was exposed to drugs or alcohol before birth, and many suspect neglect, sexual abuse, and emotional or physical abuse, as well.
Children are sometimes faced with difficult situations after adoption, too. They often move frequently and sometimes encounter abuse. Foster care system caseworkers often have inadequate training or excessive caseloads, leaving the system overwhelmed and unable to investigate post-adoption incidents of abuse or neglect.
About Captain David Schnell
A decorated officer of the United States Navy, Captain David Schnell earned the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy & Marine Corps Achievement Metal, and the Joint Service Commendation Medal during his many years of service.