David Ashby Recognized for 20 Years of Service at New Morning Youth & Family Services

by Placerville Newswire / Jan 25, 2020 / comments

This August, we celebrate the 20th year anniversary of David Ashby as the Executive Director of New Morning Youth & Family Services. Making David the longest standing Executive Director for New Morning and in El Dorado County.
David has spent his last 20 years tirelessly supporting the county’s runaway, abandoned and homeless youth. 20 years of diligently working with the El Dorado County system to get New Morning the financial support required. 20 years of being an integral part of serving the children and their families in El Dorado County.  

David has always been engaged in human service work by supporting kids who were struggling. David started his career in student life in higher education working at California Polytechnic State University and Doane College.
He was accepted to doctorate program in Education, but he had a “Crises of Consciences”.  So at 32, he joined the Peace Corps.  After 3 years volunteering in Guatemala, David served for two years as a rural development programmer in Guinea-Bissau.  David went on to serve as the County Director for Peace Corps Guinea-Bissau and Peace Corps Tanzania completing 11 years of overseas international experience.
In 1995, he re-migrated back to the U.S. and choose Placerville as his new home. David befriended Steve Healey, who helped establish the El Dorado Community Foundation and who was serving as its Executive Director.  Steve has also served as the Executive Director for New Morning Youth & Family Services for 18 years and knew that New Morning was about to begin a search for a new Executive Director.  Steve suggested that David apply for the New Morning position. For David, it was a perfect coupling with a population that he cared deeply about.
During this past 20 years, some of David’s early highlights was receiving a DHHS Shelter Grant that the agency maintains to this date. This grant helps provide basic funding for the shelter. They also received another grant to provide counseling for children who are victims of abuse. With this grant, New Morning was able to expand therapy services to school campuses.
“When I started in 1997, the shelter was very small. Besides the shelter staff, we had 2.5 therapists.  The shelter only had 3 bedrooms. 40% of the kids we supported were dealing with some form of sexual abuse, 80% physical abuse, over 80% were living at home with domestic violence. So when these kids were in a bad mood, they require more space,” said David.
So in David’s “Fantasy File” he wanted to get more space to support the growing number of at-risk youth. In 2005, the New Morning Board committed to building a new shelter.  After years of working on funding, the shelter was completed in 2011.  The first night New Morning Shelter opened, they had 11 kids spend the night.
David still has many goals he wants to achieve.  New Morning is working on receiving the CARF Accreditation. (The Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, CARF International is an independent, nonprofit accreditor of health and human services). “We are upping our professional game.” David states. “Our standards for services are in place to meet high professional standards. We are finishing up with this certification and should be completed next year.  Once we get the certification, we will be recognized for having a level of professionalism that is accepted on an international scale. It can open us up to more funders. And of course upping our internal standards.”
David is proud of what New Morning has accomplished.  “Types of services we provide and the type of people who provide them. We have exceptional professionals to help our kids and families.  Those kids and families that go through our services and come out the other side on the positive is the ultimate reward.   I hire great staff that I can trust that make meaningful changes in these children lives. It keeps me coming to work every day.”
“Changing lives and restoring hope. This is what we do.” said David.  
“I can’t work if I’m not having fun…20 years later, I’m still having fun.”

**Since 1970, New Morning has provided a safety net of services to youth and their families in El Dorado County. These services include the 24-hour Emergency Youth Shelter (the only one in El Dorado County) for homeless, abandoned and runaway youth. New Morning has programs to support alcohol and drug treatment for adolescents, counseling and support for pregnant and parenting teens, and counseling for high-risk youth (youth who are abused, suicidal, experiencing school failure, runaway or thrown out of their home, or engaging in delinquent behavior).  For more information: www.newmorningyfs.org. office: 530.622.5551