David Tumlinson is the new Texas Southmost College director of Foundation and Community Outreach. Over the past two decades, Tumlinson has worked as the deputy director for the Cameron County Juvenile Justice Department in San Benito, where he began as a probation officer in 2001.
“I’m excited to begin in this new role at this stage of my life,” said the Brownsville native. “I’m in a position to make a difference and propel success. Everything we do at TSC changes lives and positively affects local families. This is what I live for.”
With a heart for giving back and effecting change, working with juveniles within the criminal justice system was his chance to make a difference.
“For me it was about helping lost youth,” he said. “I made it my job to ensure they kept on a straight and narrow path and that they remained safe. I wanted to see them make a life for themselves and leave behind the unfortunate events that life dealt them.”
Educating and Reaching Out
During his career, Tumlinson also worked as the operations manager and facility administrator at the Darrell B. Hester Juvenile Detention Center in San Benito.
Tumlinson said he knows he only led a successful and rewarding career because of his education. He wants to make those same opportunities available to South Texas students.
In 2002, he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a minor in Public Justice from St. Mary’s University. He then earned a Master of Science in Criminal Justice Leadership and Management from Sam Houston State University in 2015.
In 2016, he became an online adjunct instructor with Sam Houston State, teaching Juvenile Delinquency and Juvenile Justice. He is still teaching Victimology and Fundamentals of Criminal Justice.
“Education is important,” said Tumlinson. “It helps you find a path, and that’s what TSC is doing for the thousands of students who graduate from the college. I want to work to ensure that many more are able to have TSC as part of their legacy and I’ll do that by making sure there are scholarships to help these students pay for the education they seek.”
A Successful Fundraiser
Tumlinson has also used his skills in developing successful grant and fundraising campaigns. Both his places of employment and local charity organizations have been benefactors.
In 2019, he successfully wrote a grant proposal for the Texas Juvenile Justice Department to fund the implementation of the Dialectical Behavior Therapy Training Program for $500,000.
He has also served as board president for Moody Clinic in Brownsville and Leadership Brownsville. He was also a board member for the United Way of Southern Cameron County. Here, he was instrumental in fundraising, assisting in bringing in more than $13.5 million dollars.
Tumlinson currently serves on two boards, Mr. Amigo Association and the Juvenile Justice Association of Texas. He is also the safety co-coordinator for the Cameron County Juvenile Justice Department in conjunction with the Cameron County Safety Committee and Rancho Viejo Alderman.
For his fundraising efforts and volunteer work, Tumlinson has received several awards. These include Employee of the Year for the Cameron County Juvenile Justice Department, Leadership Brownsville Alumnus of the Year and Volunteer of the Year for the United Way of Southern Cameron County.
“TSC is a new adventure within my extensive career and volunteer work, and I look forward to raising awareness of the workforce training and academic programs TSC offers and showcasing how our scholarships make a difference in lives,” said Tumlinson. “I’m fortunate that TSC has a strong Board of Trustees and administration that believe in the scope of this mission.”
Tumlinson hopes to create signature events that bring in funds for student scholarships and raise awareness on how donors are making a positive change in the lives of TSC students and graduates.
“The return of investment that happens when donors help our students is astronomical,” he said. “Our scholarship fund is what helps students continue their education, graduate and gain employment, which in turn pushes the Lower Rio Grande Valley forward.”