David Bower is an Associate Director in the Life Sciences Practice at Navigant. Since 2007, he has also been President of the Board of Directors at the 501(c)3 organization that he founded called Virtù, Inc. Virtù, Inc. focuses its operations on improving the educational opportunities to approximately 60 children aging from infants through young adults and living in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. These children have been orphaned, abandoned or neglected and live under the full-time care of partner organization Sociedad Amigos de los Niños.
In 2016, Virtù, Inc. awarded seven full-scholarships covering all costs to attend private high school and eleven supporting scholarships children in attending public high school. Additionally, Virtù offered daily math and science tutoring, and provided daily English classes. For the past two years, Virtù has also created and supported a program for girls who have graduated from high school and are now attending university as they work towards transitioning out of the orphanage and into society. Through this transition program, Virtù has also awarded 7 full scholarships including tuition, room and board for girls attending university. These girls are studying marketing, engineering, international relations, and law. Finally, Virtù engages a broader group of children through supporting various housing facility renovation projects and job creation programs that impacted an additional 380 children in 2016.
Additionally, David recognized that Navigant’s 1M x 2020 campaign and Virtù share the mission of impacting youth through personal development and education. Specifically, Navigant’s 1M x 2020 campaign shares Virtù’s focus on college and career readiness. Virtù, Inc. focuses on long-term programs from young ages to change the perspective and thoughts of children abandoned by family or society to challenge their status and overcome their obstacles through education. The participants in Virtù, Inc.’s programs feel a sense of partnership and support in pursuing a better life through education to break their cycle of poverty by pursuing professional careers. As the founder and President of Virtù, Inc. and employee of Navigant, David demonstrates the shared commitment to corporate citizenship through direct involvement ranging from governance to mentoring. As recently as late November 2016 David was in Honduras working with the children that Virtù, Inc. serves for more than a week.
In regards to David’s own volunteering with Virtù, Inc., his role as President of the Board of Directors means that he works consistently throughout the year to ensure the organizations’ programs run smoothly, funding is secured, donors are kept up-to-date on happenings, and most importantly that he is always accessible to the children. For David’s time in Honduras this past November 2016, he spent the week of Thanksgiving in Tegucigalpa, Honduras to meet with our program directors, support three of Virtù’s girls graduating from high school, organize the educational and empowerment programs for 2017 and to engage in an annual fundraising campaign he champions each year called The Gift of Education. Specifically, this campaign provides presents to each child over the holiday season and he has been leading this effort since 2007. Each year at this time, he raises funds for the kids, goes to Honduras (all expenses paid by volunteers – all funds raised go directly to the kids) and takes all of the children (ages 6 months – young adults) shopping for a holiday present. For almost all of the children, this is literally their only time to go shopping for the entire year, so it is a very special occasion in itself. Finally, all funds raised beyond those of the gifts go directly towards the children’s education, hence the name “The Gift of Education.”