David Contreras is president of LaunchPad The Center for Hope and Building Dreams. David and his wife, Rebecca, founded the nonprofit organization in spring 2008. LaunchPad leaders equip, enrich and empower disadvantaged youth and underserved communities to help build safe, productive, vital communities. The program is in its ninth year serving at-risk youth in northeast Austin in Texas, an area the Austin Police Department has identified as having one of the highest crime rates in the city. Ninety-five percent of the students there are economically disadvantaged and 80 percent are at-risk, according to the police department.
David believes that the students he works with are “diamonds in the rough” who can achieve brilliance given the right tools, motivation and education. Through his work with LaunchPad, David has served thousands of youth during the last nine years, capturing the attention of the Austin School District, which recognized him for outstanding service and achievement. To learn more about Launch Pad, visit www.launchpadthecenter.org.
Before starting LaunchPad, David was Texas director for the Council on Faith in Action, a nonprofit focused on education, strengthening civic involvement, community engagement and leadership development.
Additionally, during former President George W. Bush’s first term, David was deputy director of the president’s Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Before the Housing and Urban Development appointment, David was external affairs coordinator for the Office of Communication and Public Liaison at the U.S. Small Business Administration, where he worked with trade organization leaders to disseminate loans and program information relevant to their constituencies.
David and his wife, Rebecca, have enjoyed 26-plus years of marriage. They have two adult children and a granddaughter.