David Gonzalez Staff Spotlight
Staff Spotlight: David Gonzalez Artfully Leaves his Print on the Standard 9 Program

Born and raised in NYC, Y.A.L.E. School Teaching Assistant David Gonzalez is no stranger to art and culture.

Since he grew up immersed in all things creative, David wanted nothing more than to further his self-expression at the High School of Music & Art – that’s right, the “FAME” school, a.k.a. the setting of the iconic musical drama. And, while David did not dance on cafeteria tables or taxi cabs during his time as a student, his senior exhibit did earn him “Best of Show” and a full tuition scholarship to the art school of his choosing.

“I chose Philadelphia, where I graduated with a degree in visual communications,” he said. “And I’ve been in the area ever since.”

David joined Y.A.L.E. School as a T.A. and job coach for the Standard 9 Program after working as Interim Director/Production Manager for the Braille Division at the Associated Services for the Blind. He uses the skills and experiences he learned there, along with his artistic talents, in his work at Y.A.L.E.

“I have learned so much through my art and the time I spent transcribing books and magazines into Braille and audio for the Library of Congress,” says David. “It has carried over to my work helping Y.A.L.E. students gain the skills they need to reach their goals for employment, independent living, or college readiness.”

Helping his students learn entrepreneurial and business skills, and guiding them as they learn high-tech fabrication and production skills like 3-D printing, laser printing, bicycle repair, and more perfectly combines David’s artistic side with his printing know-how.

“My favorite thing about working at Y.A.L.E. has to be the interaction with the students at the Co-op,” says David. “With a background in print production, I am very much in my element there and love that I am able to pass on real working knowledge, especially during the graphic design class.

As he helps students develop their talents, he readily admits that he experiences a sense of purpose in the process.  “This might be a bit cliché, but the students motivate me to come to work every day,” he adds. “Especially the little moments when they actively seek me out because they want to share an accomplishment or something they are excited about.” For David, his role at Y.A.L.E. is just the right blend of art, student development, and personal fulfillment.