Paul Crosby may not be related to any of the famous music makers who share his surname, but his own influence has spanned continents.
Crosby, 33, was born and raised by missionary parents in the Philippines before moving to the states at age 17. After graduating college in Georgia and marrying young, he spent years doing missionary work with the international youth population of Thailand. Then, after moving to Colorado Springs to attend grad school, Crosby used his personal and professional experience to land a job as program specialist for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado, where he now serves as director of fund development.
Crosby spoke to the Business Journal this week about his world travels, his faith and how those things have influenced his career.
Can you first tell us a bit about your background?
I was born and grew up in the Philippines. I lived there for 17 years and then moved to Georgia, about an hour outside of Atlanta. There was a little bit of culture shock going from a huge city like Manila to a small town in the South. I finished high school there and then went to college at Toccoa Falls College and studied cross-cultural studies. After college I moved to Atlanta and helped start a church there. I was there for about three years, then my wife and I moved to Thailand. I worked at an international school, mostly with middle and high school students, and coached rugby and soccer.
How did you end up in Colorado Springs?
We showed up here in a Jeep with all of our belongings. I had been accepted to grad school, my wife had a job opportunity here and we both wanted to move to the mountains. … So I went to Fuller Theological Seminary to work on my graduate studies in global leadership. After that, my wife and I went back to Thailand for two years to work with youth in the international community around Bangkok. Then the opportunity came up to come back to Colorado Springs a second time to work with Big Brothers Big Sisters. I took it and now am the director of fund development, so I oversee most of our corporate partnerships, events and fundraising.
How did you become interested in this line of work?
Mentoring has been a huge part of my life. When I was finishing high school and entering college, a guy mentored me and really was influential in my life. … He challenged me to always be mentoring someone else. Having been a mentor and seeing the impact on both the mentor and the mentee was huge to me — it really became a passion. So when we moved here, I knew a guy who worked at Big Brothers Big Sisters who knew that I worked with youth in the past. It was a huge passion of mine both personally and professionally. … Once I got involved with the organization, I started to see the enormous impact they had on the children in this community and on the community as a whole.
How has your role developed since you started working there?
I started in 2010 as a program specialist, so I helped to screen, evaluate and oversee the mentors, as well as the families in the program. I also helped launch our Impact Mentoring Program, which was an enhanced community program where we partnered with a school.
ailand faces, how do the issues in this community compare?Having experienced the complex socioeconomic issues that Th
I think it’s very relative. In Thailand and the Philippines, poverty is in your face, organized crime is in your face, theft is in your face, and it’s very much an everyday thing. I think the assumption here in Colorado Springs is that, “if I don’t see it, it’s not here.” Here, it might be easier for it not to be in your face … and to overlook those who are struggling. They are different struggles, but they’re just as real and just as difficult.