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David's Journey: From dump diaper duty to president of Linguava Interpreters

By Tim Fausch, ER Communications

David changing a baby's diaper.

While in his early twenties, David Brackett traveled thousands of miles to change the diapers of infants and work in the Quito Dump Daycare. Diaper duty wasn’t highlighted in his short-term volunteer job description, but David went to Ecuador willing to serve others – even if it meant tackling some stinky challenges.

David had heard about ER from his cousin Jay and decided he wanted to experience life as a short-term volunteer. He came for two summers in 2004 and 2005, for about a month each time.

He stayed with Jose and Teresa Jimenez, who continue to serve the families of recyclers through ER’s Quito Dump Program. They are highly regarded for their compassion and expertise in counseling, mentoring, nourishment and training women and men in life skills.

‘The secret to living is giving.’ That concept has really impacted my heart. – David Brackett

“I went to Quito to get out of my comfort zone and serve at the Dump Daycare (renamed the Child Development Center). I mostly cared for the kids at the daycare. I got to help build things that were needed at the daycare and help with other projects at ER.

David smiles while standing between two people at a beach.

“I also got to participate in a couple projects that helped impoverished Quito families. I went wherever ER needed me. It was a mountain top experience and Jose and Teresa treated me just like family,” he added.

During his time in Quito, David was working as the Student Coordinator at Semester in Spain, an international school, where he worked for five years. He had summers off, which allowed him to travel to Quito for his volunteer stints.

After his time in Spain ended, David returned home to Portland, Oregon, fluent in Spanish. He had to figure out what to do with his life. He realized his experience with language and culture was in great demand.

Younger David interacts with children at a small table.

“I loved interpreting, connecting people of different cultures. I saw there was a huge opportunity in the U.S. for these skills. I started working full time as an interpreter.

“Over time, I realized there was a better way to provide language services. Many of the interpreters were being treated poorly. I had a vision for how a company could succeed and treat employees well.”

So in 2010, with the help of his family and friends, David launched Linguava and started knocking on doors.

“We grew a little each month. It took a lot of recruiting to find the right people. I had to do a lot of networking. We encountered plenty of growing pains, but today we offer interpreting services in 150 languages.

Younger David smiling next to a child.

“My game plan going in was and still remains to put people first and create above and beyond experiences for all stakeholders. I knew we would be a full service agency – meaning provide in-person, telephonic, and video relay interpretation and  document translation. Each segment has its own certifications and requirements.”

Today Linguava is thriving and enjoys a positive culture among the staff. This success led David, Linguava’s president, to contemplate what to do next.

“I remembered the quote from Tony Robbins, ‘The secret to living is giving’. That concept has really impacted my heart.

David plays a guitar at the Linguava office.

“What is going to be really fulfilling for me is touching as many lives as possible to give back. I feel like God is blessing me with a lot of resources and I want to use them to help others.

“I’m still figuring out what this means. I’m starting with making a commitment to incorporate charitable contributions into our business model. I shared the vision with my staff that we would help fund ER projects around the world and slowly build our investment.

“One day, we hope to send some of our staff to see these projects that we’ve helped fund.”


Article originally from Extreme Response International

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