Daniel manages fundraising for EdAllies, working to advance individual and foundation giving. Daniel has been a nonprofit professional for over 10 years as an administrator, performing arts educator, and fundraiser. Through his work, he’s dedicated to giving young people what was given to him—opportunity and the resources to succeed. Daniel’s extensive experience in fundraising—including development operations, donor relations, event management, individual giving programs, and grant writing—is centered on raising funds that provide children and families with basic needs and transformative opportunities they may not otherwise have.
Daniel began his career in St. Louis, Missouri, where he worked in program development and fundraising for organizations like Jazz St. Louis and the Center of Creative Arts. Most recently, he worked in development for MacPhail Center for Music, the Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library, and Planned Parenthood. Daniel holds degrees in English and Communication Studies and Theatre from the University of Sioux Falls and a master’s in Performance Studies from Washington University, St. Louis. When he’s not working in fundraising, he’s a professional actor, singer, and a dedicated high school speech and debate coach at Apple Valley High School.
Why are you passionate about education?
I was born in Chicago, Illinois and went to elementary school there in the ‘90s before my family relocated to South Dakota. I went from going to predominately black schools to schools where I was one of a handful of students of color. Even at a young age, I noticed the disparities between the two school systems were clear to me. I noticed how I was treated and what was expected of me changed. It became clear to me that based on the combination of family circumstance, what you looked like, and the teacher in front of the classroom, your experience in school could be drastically different from the student sitting next to you.
One thing that remained the same for me, no matter where I was, were adults that saw my potential and gave me opportunities that I would not have otherwise had that altered trajectory. As a Black kid from inner-city Chicago and a low-income single-parent home, I could have easily been one of those kids whose potential was ignored. I’m one of the lucky ones. I am passionate about education because I know that a students’ ability to rise above their circumstances is rooted in the quality and care of their education. I am a living example.