David Norman has endured many obstacles. Norman, age 67, grew up in Harlem, New York and fell into a life of crime and drug addiction as a teenager.
“I was a very shy kid, and I was also selling narcotics, and in that capacity you were taught not to show feelings,” Norman said. “One of the things I realized early was that when I got high, I was able to function socially, which was one of my biggest problems.”
As a result of drug dealing, Norman served multiple prison sentences while battling heroin addiction. After his last prison stint in 1995, Norman began to turn his life around. Norman took a job volunteering for a transitional services program which helps inmates as they transition back to society.
The job gave Norman a new sense of purpose as he began to realize his talents.
“That job changed my perspective. It let me know that I have something to offer,” Norman said. “I decided I would devote my time to working toward something bigger than myself.”
From there, Norman began to pursue his education, taking the first step on a journey to transform his dreams into reality.
After years of hard work and perseverance, Norman has achieved success. On May 16, 2016 David Norman graduated from Columbia University School of General Studies with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy.
Norman has found a new mission in life. He works as a research assistant at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. Norman has been drug-free for more than 20 years and mentors those who have been incarcerated.
“When my perspective changed, my life changed. Whatever happens outside has to begin inside,” Norman said.
Safe Choice Security (SCS), a company selling home security systems, video monitors, and other home safety devices, recently announced its list of the twelve safest cities in Oregon.
To compile the list, SCS used data from the 2012 FBI Crime Statistics report. Cities with the lowest levels of violent crime and property crime in Oregon made the list.
1 – Baker City: According to the data, Baker City is the #1 safest city in Oregon. Situated on the historic Oregon Trail and named after Senator Edward Baker, the only U.S. Senator to be killed in battle, Baker City boasts beautiful views of mountains and rivers.
2 – West Linn: Second safest is West Linn, a medium-sized city just outside of Portland. With two rivers and a nature conservancy, West Linn offers beautiful opportunities to be in the great outdoors.
3 – Sherwood: Sherwood is the third safest city in Oregon, with almost half of the households having young children. Named by Money Magazine as “one of the Best Places to Live,” Sherwood has space available for development, with many new businesses moving in.
4 – Silverton: Fourth on the list is Silverton, a small town north of Salem. Silverton boasts Silver Falls State Park, the largest park in Oregon, with gorgeous waterfalls and many hiking trails. The park is just across the road from a peaceful retreat center: Christian Renewal Center.
5 – Newberg: The fifth city is Newberg, in the heart of wine country. Farms, forest, and mountains create a beautiful backdrop to the town, which is also home to George Fox University and several historic homes, including the Herbert Hoover house.
6 – Umatilla: Umatilla, a small town near the Umatilla River is sixth on the list. The majority of households in Umatilla have children, and there are many outdoor opportunities available, such as boating, hiking, and fishing.
7 – Beaverton: Beaverton is seventh; it is also the largest on the list with over 100,000 inhabitants. Also named by Money Magazine as “one of the Best Places to Live,” Beaverton has many career opportunities, cultural events, and outdoor spaces.
8 – Lake Oswego: Eighth is Lake Oswego, which borders a private lake, driving up the cost of living due to the views. The many recreational opportunities in this city include horseback riding, tennis, golf, a country club, and many beautiful parks.
9 – Canby: Number nine, Canby, is named after a Civil War general, Edward Richard Sprigg Canby. The town hosts the Clackamas County rodeo each year and provides a free bus transportation system, Canby Area Transit.
10 – Monmouth: Education and safety have always been important to Monmouth, the tenth city. The first settlers built Monmouth University and banned alcoholic beverages, a prohibition which lasted until 2002.
11 – Scappoose: Scappoose, a small city northwest of Portland, is the eleventh town to make the cut. The word “Scappoose” is of Native American origin and means “gravelly plain.” The town is named after a nearby stream bearing the same name.
12 – Junction City: The twelfth and final city on the list is Junction City. With a population of 5500, it is the smallest city on the list. Farming is one of the biggest sources of income for this city, which also hosts a yearly daffodil festival.
For crime statistics on these cities and additional information, visit Safe Choice Security News.