David Patrick Rust, currently Erie County Deputy Commissioner for Youth Services/Social Services has been named executive director of Say Yes to Education Buffalo. Rust will start in his new position on July 16th.
Say Yes to Education is a national, non-profit education foundation committed to dramatically increasing high school and college graduation rates. Buffalo is the second Say Yes city in the United States and will invest an initial $16 million to provide comprehensive supports to all Buffalo Public School students, including free after-school and summer programming, counseling, legal services, and health care.
“Based on significant community outreach and input, we are delighted that David will be joining our team in Buffalo,” said Eugene Chasin, chief operating officer, Say Yes to Education, Inc. “He is the right choice at the right time to serve the children and families in the Buffalo Public Schools system.”
Rust (right) has been working in Erie County government since 2009 as director of the Youth Bureau in the Erie County Department of Social Services, funding and working with 70 positive youth development agencies across the county. He became Deputy Commissioner for Youth Services/Social Services in May 2011. In this capacity he helps manage a staff of 120 with a $14 million budget, with a primary focus on juvenile detention and diversion services. He also serves the Department of Social Services on numerous interdepartmental projects with county agencies such as Family Court, Mental Health and Probation.
“Having worked directly with David Rust, I am confident he will be able to lead Say Yes to Education Buffalo which is a transformative initiative for our community to strengthen the Buffalo Public Schools system,” said David Hore, President and CEO, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Erie County. “David cares greatly about the children of Western New York and in particular the disadvantaged youth in our community.”
“David’s background and career in working with our most vulnerable youth and a myriad of youth based organizations throughout our community is a great foundation for him to manage this initiative,” said Lucy Candelario, executive director at West Side Community Services. “I am confident he will be successful in leading this initiative and I look forward to supporting him as this important work begins in our community.”
Prior to his stint in Erie County government, Rust was the program director for the Youth Character Development Foundation which is a not for profit foundation of Dale Carnegie of WNY and associate director, dean of students and resident director for The Francis E. Kelly Oxford Program at Somerville College in Oxford, Great Britain. He is a 2003 graduate of St. Bonaventure University with a Masters in Business Administration in Marketing/Russell J. Jandoli School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
“I am very excited about my new endeavor and while it will be challenging it also will be extremely rewarding as we work as a community to give students in the Buffalo public school system the tools they need to succeed in college and life,” Rust said.