Corrie Smith has always been drawn to people who need someone in their corner — and she has a knack for helping them tackle big issues in practical ways.
The signs of her vocation were there, in her bachelor’s degree in social work from Indiana’s Taylor University and her master’s in crisis response and trauma counseling from Liberty University in Virginia.
“There’s something in my spirit that is drawn to marginalized populations; I feel drawn to those who maybe are lacking advocacy,” she said. “I also worked at a church for a couple years and I feel my faith has been such a guidepost for my life. So I think there were hints along the way — social work and social welfare and faith and how do all those things work together — but I couldn’t have written this job description when I applied for it.
“When I applied for this job my personal mission statement was so simple. It was, ‘To uplift and encourage a community.’ I had no idea what I was meaning by it, but it felt right.”
Smith fulfills that mission every day in her role as project manager for COSILoveYou where, as she describes it, “I’m working with businesses and nonprofits and faith communities and pastors, and helping them all unite around the vision of uplifting our city.”
Through COSILoveYou, the provider of some of the Springs’ largest volunteer and community service efforts, Smith works with more than 100 nonprofits, making sure groups with needs and people with the impulse to give can find each other.
As well as connecting faith and business communities to local needs and organizing hundreds of service opportunities for thousands of volunteers, Smith leads CityServe, a massive united service day that takes place each October.
Last year, CityServe brought together more than 4,100 volunteers from 75 nonprofits, businesses and churches to serve at 186 project sites in Colorado Springs, giving more than $320,000 worth of support to parks, schools, nonprofits and community centers in a single day.
Smith serves on a host of planning and steering committees, and volunteers for Pikes Peak United Way, College YoungLife, Colorado Springs District 11 and Harrison School District 2, and as a mentor for high school and college students. But even in her spare time, she never really leaves her work.
“It does come home with you, because I work in my community and my community’s everywhere,” she said, “but that’s also kind of the beauty of it. It doesn’t have an end point.
“I see a lot of days [ahead] where I come home really tired but thankful for the work that I’m doing. I think that’s the season of life that I’m in — a season of faithful, hard work. And so there may not be a lot of big things to point to in the coming months or years, but just consistent hard work: showing up and loving my city, and loving people in my city.”
Smith’s faithful, hard work leaves an impression on those around her.
“She truly is a tremendous asset to our community,” said nominator Grace Harrison, general manager at Peak Lifestyle Ventures, “and will leave anything she touches and any person she meets better off than before.”
Nominator Keith Willschau, program manager for Leadership Pikes Peak, describes Smith as “an incredible leader … who represents the next generation of thriving leadership.
“Corrie’s professionalism is rooted in kindness and genuine compassion,” he said. “I think we need more humans like Corrie in our world.”