What does it feel like to be at your worst? David Casarez is a college graduate who had all the makings to succeed but ended up on the streets. What landed him in this low point?
David didn’t plan to stand on the side and have life pass him by. His strategy to get back on his feet made him famous globally and made him be thankful for what he has accomplished in his life. From university to homelessness to the highest point he could’ve dreamed of – this is David Casarez’s inspiring story.
Meet the homeless man who is open about his big dreams: David Casarez, a man from Texas, has been living on the streets of Mountain View, California for a while. Based on first impressions, you might assume that he’s just another regular homeless guy, and there’s nothing unique about him.
But, Casarez has a noteworthy history of experience that made him stick out from everybody else, and amongst the homeless community, that says something. This young homeless man has proven that he is an example of breaking down the barriers of limitations.
David didn’t know a life of homelessness for his whole life. He used to be the guy who had everything going for him. Born and raised in Laredo, Texas, Casarez attended Texas A&M University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Information Systems Management.
After a shining college performance, he took his skills to the job market. Through his initial freelancing jobs, he gathered enough experience in logo design and web design to move forward in the field. His diverse skillset landed him a respectable job working for General Motors.
After graduating from university with an undergraduate degree in 2014, Casarez worked his tail off and made his way up the ladder in the information systems world. He focused on freelance jobs right out of school, going for the more inconsistent jobs simply to gain professional experience.
All his dedication paid off; he went on to work at General Motors, where he initially worked as a Quality Assurance Test Analyst. With his talents and commitment, he was promoted to be a web developer. Casarez worked for GM until 2017 when he decided to take the leap and move to Silicon Valley.
Silicon Valley is in Northern California and is known as the home of technology giants like Apple, Facebook, and Google. The term gained mainstream popularity back in the ’70s, as the area heavily relied on silicon transistors found in all modern microprocessors.
Landing a job in Silicon Valley is every tech person’s dream. As one of the richest cities on the planet, Silicon Valley is known as the center of technological innovation. Many accredited tech companies have started there, and it’s still a major investment target. This was what drew David to this tech person’s playground.
He was committed to his vision. Casarez believed in the magic of opportunity when achieving his dreams. Just like other children when he was younger, Casarez, who is currently in his 20s, also had impressive answers whenever his parents asked him what he wanted to do as an adult.
But, because of the innocent nature of a kid, the young Casarez’ reply had been fluctuating through the years until one day, everything fell into place. Casarez finally knew what he was striving for, but he never guessed that it was about to change his life forever.
As a technologically advanced person himself, Casarez is one of the hundreds of people who attempted to battle for his spot in the Silicon Valley uber-competitive industry. His determination didn’t allow for giving up as an option.
Years earlier, Casarez had made himself a promise—to found his own business by the time he turned 26. He always knew he had great potential to offer the business. So, with the $20,000 he got from his 401k account, he prepared for his journey to Silicon Valley. This was when his unique success story began.
Casarez left to realize his dream. His confidence led him to resign from his corporate job. Casarez’s family thought he was nuts for throwing everything away. He didn’t even have the money to cover rent costs in California and lived out of his vehicle.
They tried to convince him to come back, but nothing would change his mind. Casarez was sticking to his decision to become a young entrepreneur. By September, when he got to California, Casarez already had an idea for a start-up. He figured he’d get a job and save his money for the start-up.
So how did he end up homeless? Everything seemed fine for the first several months. His spirits were high, and he genuinely thought that he was close to fulfilling his promise to himself. He was enthusiastic and was thinking positively about his future.
What appeared to be a step in the right direction, Casarez was the first person in line for the iPhone X premiere at the Palo Alto Apple Store. During that memorable time, he hugged Tim Cook and was offered an interview at the Apple campus. What took place after this event was unexpected.
To recap, Casarez was a man with a huge dream literally living out of his van. He managed to secure an interview with Apple at their Silicon Valley campus, which would get him one step closer to his dream. He left his van for what was the most memorable interview of his life.
He nailed the interview. He was sure that he was going to get hired. After days of anticipation, he discovered that the job he applied for went to someone who had already been working for the company. The unexpected twist in his journey was starting to unfold.
It was a tough break, but Casarez didn’t focus on it for too long and moved on to other ventures. But after that one Apple interview, it seemed like everything was going wrong. After tons of interviews with numerous big tech companies, he was still left with zero job offers.
Casarez was confused. He thought that his dream was within reach but was slowly realizing that it was slipping away. He couldn’t do anything about his situation, and he was draining his savings account. Things were not looking good for him.
The following months would be the toughest of Casarez’s life. He was living in his van in Mountain View to save money and had calculated that he had enough money to continue this “lifestyle” for another six months, maybe seven.
Finally, it was March, and he began missing payments on his vehicle. His van wasn’t repossessed until June, and then he was forced to sleep on the streets. He then found himself resting on staircases or sleeping on park benches. The depression began to sink in, and Casarez started to question himself and everything that led up to this situation.
Before his van was repossessed, Casarez felt safe with the knowledge that he slept in an enclosed space. His van was his safe haven, separate from what was waiting for him outside. But he no longer had the means to pay for his car.
Because he lacked a safe to stay, he used his gym membership to shower. However, as his savings dwindled, he had to sell his iPhone X too. He prayed that selling the phone would earn him enough cash for another few months. After all, Casarez never imagined that his dreams would lead him to homelessness.
Things didn’t improve for Casarez. He survived on packs of tuna and ramen noodles. He restlessly slept at night, weeping at how unexpectedly bad everything turned out. By the time he turned 26, David Casarez was homeless and broke.
By that point, he reevaluated himself. He never imagined that his harmless choices would sink him deeper into a hole. Depression took over, and Casarez had hit his rock bottom. The gravity of his situation was difficult to handle, but he wouldn’t let it break his spirit. His next move was a game-changer.
With only hope and a positive attitude to his name, Casarez chose to battle back against the disaster that he had made for himself. He picked his head up and utilized the streets that he had been exploring for months.
He was over being unable to afford his rent or eat any food with nutrition. He realized he had to find a way to get a job and piece his life back together. Even though he didn’t know where to begin, he finally saw an end to his darkness and frustration.
The man who had moved with big dreams and faced a big fallout was determined to make a change. The madness to flip the script of his situation has lodged itself into his brain, and he refused to let go.
Instead of allowing all his failures to dim his light, Casarez chose to make one more attempt to reclaim control over his destiny. He calculated that in order to find a job in a saturated job market, he had to do something that would set him apart from the rest of the crowd. So, he did.
One Friday morning, Casarez stood up from his park bench and got dressed in a clean dress shirt and started walking to the nearby intersection where thousands of vehicles pass by daily.
He brainstormed a way he could start over from scratch, and he made it a reality. He understood that he wouldn’t make any life changes if he continued to mope around and feel sorry for himself. He was driven to realize his dreams, and this time, he would put all his efforts into them. His idea was going to change everything.
While most homeless people stood on the streets asking for food and cash, Casarez took over his own spot, refusing to fail. He held a sign that read, “Homeless Hungry 4 Success. Take A Resume,” and he handed out his resume to drivers passing by!
He had no money or resources, so he was forced to take other measures. While people might think it was an outlandish idea, Casarez was stubborn. He figured that this was his big moment and didn’t even hesitate once he was out there holding up his sign.
A driver who passed Casarez on the corner saw his sign and wanted to share his public act of bravery with the world. This was the major turning point that Casarez had spent many months searching for.
Jasmine Scofield couldn’t help but see Casarez and commend his courage with his attempt at taking control of his future. The woman took a photo of the young man with his sign and asked him if she could assist him by posting the picture on social media. What took place after that blew both of their minds.
Scofield uploaded the photo of Casarez, his sign, and his resume to Twitter. But the kind stranger never expected her notification bar to blow up like it did. The response was beyond her wildest imagination.
The tweet had reached upwards of 100k retweets and 100k likes, which meant that Casarez had gotten unimaginable exposure thanks to the internet. Casarez ended up getting more than 200 job offers which included ones from notable companies like Google, LinkedIn, and Netflix. The young idealist was over the moon about his twist of fate.
Finally, Casarez felt like he could breathe a sigh of relief. His seemingly offbeat idea had worked out in his favor and had landed him hundreds of potential opportunities. What an adjustment it was to go from absolutely no offers to hundreds and hundreds of leads.
The determined man spent several days looking through the job offers and answering the list of questions from potential employers. However, there was one aspect that was still a bit up in the air: among the 200 chances to get a career, had he been successful in landing a job?
He gave up everything and left behind everything he knew to realize his dreams in Silicon Valley, and now he was finally getting the chance he had wanted for so long. Casarez attended several company interviews in hopes of making some movements to forward his job search.
The young man gave up lots of sleep by spending his nights preparing for his interview and impressed the potential employers. During daylight hours, Casarez prepared his best answers for potential interview questions. The wannabe entrepreneur was motivated to utilize all the assistance that he received.
While he anxiously waited for the results of his interviews, Casarez couldn’t help but reflect on all of the experiences that he had gone through. The young man might have been hit with the harsh reality of the world, but his passion for his dream burned true.
Casarez learned some life lessons the hard way, but he was appreciative of the hardships that he had gone through. Casarez is a human definition of grit despite his circumstances, and finally, the young idealist was able to learn the result of all his hard work.
It finally happened; Casarez got a job! The man with big dreams shared the heartwarming news with the world by sharing a message on Twitter. Casarez tweeted about how he had happily accepted a position as a software engineer with a company specializing in drone airspace defense.
He finished his tweet by sharing his gratitude and appreciation for those who shared the viral post and to the people who believed in him when he was homeless. He wasn’t able to make it on his own, but with the support of so many, he was well on his way.
With tenacity and dedication, Casarez battled his way back to stand up, once again, proudly on both feet. Sometimes, people have to travel down a winding bumpy road before being able to take in the beautiful scenery of success.
The story about David Casarez is proof that true success doesn’t come from shortcuts. Rather, what’s in a person’s heart will determine how far they can go. Someone with a dream has to work hard for it and let their persistence work its own magic. Casarez is a testament to the power of believing in your own potential.
For our next article, we look at the people behind your favorite meme faces. Where are they now, and how being a viral meme affected their lives.