Meet Trust & Safety Associate David Duong
Written by Karen Sampson
After earning a degree in psychology, David Duong spent many years helping people with cognitive disabilities and those experiencing mental health crises. As a Trust & Safety Associate, he now uses his compassion and level-headedness to ensure a safe and secure experience for all Users of the HopSkipDrive platform.
Where are you located and how long have you worked for HopSkipDrive?
I am located in Merced, California, and I have been at HopSkipDrive for a year.
What exactly do you do for the company as a Trust & Safety Associate?
I ensure that HopSkipDrive Users have an overall safe and secure experience with the platform. This includes investigating any allegations during rides both for CareDrivers and Riders. I am also responsible for upholding any and all safety standards including disaster response and regulations.
What are some of the characteristics you need to be successful in your role?
I would say that you need a sense of patience, understanding and empathy. A good sense of reason and judgment also helps to provide platform Users with a fair but thought-out response to any issues that may arise.
How did you hear about HopSkipDrive, and what made you want to work here?
I found this position through an online job posting. The more I explored the company and understood the mission and service provided, the more I knew I had to work here.
Have you had any personal experiences that relate to the work we do?
The last eight years of my professional career were dedicated to the mental health and social services field specializing in mental health crisis response. I understand the severity and impact that a lack of opportunities to things such as school and social activities can have on any individual who may not have access to resources such as transportation.
Based on your experience at HopSkipDrive, what are your thoughts about the company’s emphasis on safety as a value?
Safety is the cornerstone of this company. I believe that without starting there, we would have been unable to become the company we are now. The bottom line is that caregivers are entrusting that their loved ones will make it to their destination in a safe and reliable manner.
Have you had any special experiences with colleagues that speak to our mission?
I believe the marketplace team — specifically the Safe Ride Support team — provides a unique and necessary service that is not fundamentally found in our niche industry. I have had countless interactions with Safe Ride Support specialists providing in-the-moment support for high-stress situations while remaining calm, composed and dependable.
Is there anything specific about the company culture at HopSkipDrive that is of particular importance to you?
The collaboration and sense of a shared mission is such an important part of our culture.
Have you learned anything surprising from working here?
I have learned how underrepresented the need for transportation has become. I think that with everything that goes into ensuring a student’s success, sometimes transportation takes a back seat and is often overlooked.
Tell me about your professional and educational background.
I graduated from San Francisco State University with an undergraduate degree in psychology. My first job out of college was as a crisis counselor for individuals with cognitive disabilities. Eventually, I worked my way up to team leader, where I managed a large geographical area in Los Angeles county. After that, I moved back near my hometown, where I was a service coordinator providing social services for individuals receiving regional center services.
My last position before coming to HopSkipDrive was as a crisis interventionist with youth in Santa Barbara County. I was a first responder to any and all mental health emergencies for anyone under the age of 21. In this position, I provided in-person emergency mental health evaluations, as well resources and intervention including but not limited to psychiatric hospitalizations and acute behavioral interventions.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I love exploring and trying things that capture my attention. I love spending time with my wife of almost four years and our three-year-old pitbull fur baby. I’ve had different hobbies and interests throughout my life; some include photography, DJing, welding, skateboarding and swimming.
I would say one of my most consistent hobbies has been collecting Pokemon cards. I have a small YouTube channel where I open up cards and will sometimes livestream myself playing video games.
Have you ever done any volunteer work?
I did some volunteer work back when I lived in Santa Barbara County with the Pacific Pride Foundation. Some of my greatest memories there were volunteering at Pride Prom, as well as helping to coordinate Pride in Santa Barbara.
What would you say to someone who may be interested in joining the HopSkipDrive team?
HopSkipDrive is a great place to work for anyone looking for a challenging but rewarding career. The culture is wonderful and you will always feel supported.