David Nguyen

In another life, David was a gang member who was heavily involved in criminality. He was sent to one of the most notorious supermax institutions in the United States—Pelican Bay State Prison. He wanted to change his situation and environment, but where to start? The only way he knew how was to begin with himself. His life began to turn around when he discovered his newfound faith in the Creator. He developed new values and beliefs, amended some, and discarded others. This new direction led to him living a life dedicated to making amends for all the hurt, harm, and horror he had caused.

He earned his degree in Behavioral and Social Science and obtained a certificate in Business Administration from Baylor University. He created content and was published in several books. He began to cultivate community across all walks of life and reached out to other groups to resolve conflict differently. He also promoted community and peace, founded several self-help groups, and helped establish a newsletter that focused on 1) creating a new tomorrow behind the walls, 2) expression, and 3)communication to build bridges.

He became eligible for parole after serving 16 years because of the new youth offender laws that were passed with the help of community organizers. David is thankful he will not rot in prison, and upon returning home, knew he wanted to give the blessings of coming home back to his community. Being a 2021 Community Organizing Fellow at Community Coalition has been a tremendous start to this part of his journey of giving back.

Fun Fact: David loves to cook–but even more, he loves to eat. His “me time” is spent making videos and working towards creating a non-profit to do his part to change the world through one random act of kindness at a time.