I want to see the resources that are provided to certain populations be provided equally for all.
by David Gaspar, #LwC2021
October 27, 2021
What do you work on and how did you get involved in it?
I currently work for the Bail Project, a national not-for-profit which posts cash bail on behalf of individuals in need and supports them with court reminders, transportation assistance, and referrals to local service providers. When I first got out I struggled getting a job and I ended up answering a Craigslist ad for warehouse work. It took me eight and a half months to get that job, so when I finally got it I stayed there for 12 years. But I knew the whole time that wasn’t what I wanted to do, so I was always out there volunteering, doing work in the juvenile criminal legal system, diversion programs, restorative justice programs. Once again, I still knew I wanted to do something bigger and make it my day job, so I ended up relocating to Indianapolis from Seattle.
When I came to Indianapolis the door was open for me to work with adults and to be able to get into the criminal legal system here, go inside the prisons and jails, and it was just something that I knew I wanted to be part of. My wife and I had an agreement that when our youngest children turned 18 that I would make a full transition into this work. At that stage where I needed to start looking I was offered a few roles, but none of them felt right, and then the Bail project came to indianapolis and I interviewed with them. I wanted to be able to know that it was going to be something that I felt good about and it did. They offered me an entry level position, and so I transitioned from my career of 12 years in the warehouse as the Director of Warehousing and Distribution to working at The Bail Project
What would you say is the most satisfying thing about your work?
One is the people I work with. Over 60% of the people I work with are system impacted either directly or indirectly. It feels good to be surrounded by people who understand and are committed to the same work that I’m committed to. The second thing is really having that ability to impact people’s lives directly.
What we do by posting on behalf of somebody in need is just one step, but being able to actually connect with them post release and give them the support that they need to succeed is very satisfying. And lastly, I would just say thinking long term, today The Bail Project is helping tens of thousands of people. However, the work that we’re doing in creating bail reform has the potential to help millions of people for decades to come and that’s really the type of legacy and impact that I want to be part of.
What are your hopes for this year?
This year, to continue my growth as a leader. I feel like JLUSA has really opened up my eyes to potential; not just potential in the world, but potential within myself, and so I just really want to capitalize on that and continue moving forward.
What’s been your favorite part of Leading with Conviction?
The diversity, not just geographically but also in the work people do. The similarity in what it is that we’re all trying to accomplish along with that diversity is really big.
What is your vision for the future?
I want to see the resources that are provided to certain populations be provided equally for all. I think that is really important. If we’re going to talk about establishing equity, we have to make sure that everybody has that fair opportunity to even know what’s possible in order to chase after it.
Where were you a year ago today?
A year ago today I was happy to be on a new career path that now, as I stated before, I knew was always something I wanted to be part of. I started with The Bail Project in my entry level position, and last August I was promoted to National Director of Operations. To be able to contribute at that level, I was really just excited to have that opportunity. A year ago I was excited about my ability to have a bigger impact and to be able to work with more people.
What is your motto in life?
My motto in life, it’s a long one, but I will share it. I choose to believe that I can achieve that, which I choose to believe, is possible.
The reason why that’s my motto is because it leaves the choice to me. I get to make the choices as to what I believe is possible, I get to make the choices as to what I believe I can accomplish, not anybody else but myself.