David Whitesock

David Whitesock
24 months
Vermillion, SD—David Whitestock understands what it takes to get well. Ten years ago, mired in drug and alcohol addiction, he began his recovery, learning what it takes to get and stay sober. Today, he has earned a law degree and is the nation’s first and only “addiction informatics officer,” working with Face It TOGETHER to lead the charge in using “big data” to promote a holistic approach to treating addiction. With his Bush Fellowship, he will explore ways to help nonprofits measure social impact and to be smarter at applying precious resources toward solving community problems such as addiction.

Learning Logs

Updates and Insights from Bush Fellows During Their Leadership Journey

What stands out to you/has surprised you about your leadership development through the Fellowship to date? 

Upon graduating from the University of South Dakota, a professor whom I had only periodically encountered, never took a class from, but had deep respect for, emailed two quotes and a short note of encouragement for the next stage of my education and/or life. 

At the tender age of 20, a young but enlightened Thomas Jefferson wrote: 

“The most fortunate of us, in our journey through life, frequently meet with calamities and misfortunes which may greatly afflict us; and, to fortify our minds against the attacks of these calamities and misfortunes, should be one of the principal studies and endeavours of our lives.” 

In the letter to his friend John Page, Jefferson was remarking that we were never intended to have “perfect happiness,” but that we have in “our power the nearness of our approaches to it.” 

Issue Area

David Whitesock Fellowships