“Education was my way out of poverty.” This was a truth that 42-year-old Amazon executive David Ambroz held on to while living in the streets of New York City as a young child.
David and his siblings were forced to live in shelters, churches, and public places because of their mentally ill mother. They were always hungry and filthy, and had no place to live. They had no other option but to beg for money to buy food.
David, a young man, had to use fast-food restaurants’ bathrooms to take a bath. He also had to beg at Grand Central Station where wealthy commuters didn’t pay him any attention.
He recalled how he used to get food only if he received a dollar from strangers.
David knew that this was no way to live, and he was determined to climb out of this sad and difficult situation no matter what.
It wasn’t until he turned 12 that his life started to change for the better. David was homeless and struggling to survive when he entered foster care. Adopted by a loving familyHe would be able to live a secure and stable existence.
He learned to read by using the literacy programs offered by public libraries. However, he persevered and enrolled in high school to get a better education.
His hard work paid off when the grant he received to study abroad was granted. He finished his high school education in Spain and started rebuilding his life.
His Spanish learning experience was crucial in helping him get into Vassar College. Still, it wasn’t a walk in the park for David as he had to balance school work and maintain his grade with his multiple jobs. He also had issues with his sexuality at this time.
But David’s star was on the rise because he also landed a coveted internship at the White House that helped build his career.
He was eventually accepted to UCLA School of Law where he received his Juris Doctor degree.
Shortly after that, David landed a job at ABC’s legal and business affairs department, working on Disney TV’s corporate social responsibility and philanthropic efforts.
This is also where he met and worked with some of the world’s most famous and influential people. More importantly, it allowed him to influence storytelling on Disney TV’s networks. David moved to Amazon last year to be the head of external affairs.
But David admits that despite all the success that he has achieved in his life, it wasn’t easy letting go of the ‘shame’ of homelessness. It was decades of trauma. He also had to cope with the trauma for many decades.
But eventually, David turned this trauma and ‘shame’ into power and became one of the most well-known advocates for foster care.
David is actually a foster parent to give foster children the same opportunities that he had when he was younger.
David will be forever grateful to all those who helped change his life and help him achieve his dreams. Without those ‘rare angels’ like his foster mom Holly, he wouldn’t be where he is today.
He is aware that not all people will be able foster or adopt children, but everyone can raise awareness and help to care about these children.
It’s hard to imagine someone so confident, successful, and influential came from such a troubled and challenging childhood. But David is living proof that your past doesn’t define your future.
David and his siblings were able, with hard work, perseverance, and a little bit of luck, to overcome the odds and build successful careers and happy, loving families.
He’s happy and proud that he was able to turn his life around, which not many foster kids can do. This is why he’s working hard to advocate child welfare and reform the system that made it hard for him and his family to get out of poverty for years.
FosterMore was founded by him as a way to give back. It offers foster care opportunities, resources, and services.
He’s also sharing more of his incredible story in his memoir A Place Called Home, which will be released on September 13.
David hopes that the book will inspire people to take action for the millions of poor people in the United States. ‘They need our help, our attention, and more than anything, for us to take action,’ David said.
If you want to learn more about David’s incredible story, watch the video below: