David Carlson, C.C. WE ADAPT
My background is not one that is well represented in the spaces I now occupy. I am the son of a Vietnam Veteran who, after returning from combat, sex-trafficked women, including my mother. I grew up under these conditions, seeing abuse, drug addiction, crime, and extreme violence throughout my childhood. I lived under a cloud of constant fear that I would lose everyone I loved at the whim of an abusive man, who was also once a traumatized child.
After group homes, juvenile detention, and eventually long term juvenile incarceration, I was adopted to Rice Lake, WI, by my grandparents. This was my second chance, but I would come to find out that fifteen-years lived under the conditions I was raised under have compounding consequences, that were mine, and mine alone to work through. This realization was facilitated by my struggle with alcoholism; my eventual enlistment in the Wisconsin Army National Guard, upon which I was deployed for two tours to Iraq; PTSD and escalated severity of drug and alcohol addiction; and my eventual incarceration as an adult, which amounted to nearly five-years incarcerated between the years of 2010 and the end of 2015.
I am now the founder and co-owner of C.C. WE ADAPT, a peer support and mentorship business that provides services in 17 counties with 33 providers spread out over the communities we serve. I am also the co-founder and co-owner of Next Generation Properties, LLC, a property business that provides opportunities for affordable housing coupled with peer services and independent living skills development opportunities. We currently own 3 properties, one in Chippewa County, one in Eau Claire County, and one in Clark County. Lastly, I am a 2L at Mitchell Hamline School of Law in St. Paul, MN. I am currently in my second internship with the Wisconsin State Public Defender’s–Eau Claire Office. A proud achievement was becoming student certified under a Wisconsin Supreme Court Rule, allowing me to represent clients in court, on the record, under the guidance of my supervising attorneys. My proudest achievements, that are beyond comparison to anything I’ve listed above, are my two sons, my wife, and our family unit. I may not have had a healthy and loving family in my youth, but I do now, and so do my sons.