As a newly appointed executive director, David Earnest knows that he has his work is cut out for him, but he’s ready for the challenge.
Earnest was recently selected as the new executive director for Challenged Child and Friends, which is a nonprofit educational center for children with disabilities and their "typical peers."
"Like with most nonprofits, the fundraising and public relations duties will fall on me as the executive director. In addition to being a nonprofit, we also have the extra component of being a school, so that also brings about its own set of challenges," said Earnest. "So far it has been a remarkable learning experience and I think I’m pretty prepared to handle all of the duties and responsibilities with this position."
Prior to accepting a position with Challenged Child and Friends, Earnest served as the regional and state director for Prevent Child Abuse Georgia from 1987 through 2008. He has also served as the family housing coordinator for the University of Georgia.
Earnest earned a bachelor’s in secondary education and a master’s in counseling from Mississippi State University.
He also has earned a doctorate from the University of Georgia in adult education with a concentration in staff development and training, with a minor in social work.
Stepping into his new position, Earnest says his top priority will be ensuring that Challenged Child and Friends continues to offer the same quality education that parents have come to expect.
"Like a lot of people in nonprofits, we have to keep a close eye on our finances. Unfortunately, the first thing that I have to do is to make sure that we are bringing in enough resources to continue offering those quality services," Earnest said.
"We may have to be more creative with how we ask for and spend funds, maybe look in places that we haven’t looked before. Even in tough times, we have to ask people to continue to look in their hearts and continue making donations."