Name: Robert Crosby, III

Current Role: Senior Director of Elementary Program Design, Flamboyan Foundation

Length in Current Role: 3 months in current role, 1 year at organization

What made you choose your career path: My work is fueled by a deep passion, underscored by personal experiences of an inadequate education. I’ve seen the lack of a quality education leave my family disenfranchised. This allows me to connect deeply to the work and stay grounded in the perspective of students and families I work alongside.

Favorite thing about what I get to do everyday: It’s too hard to just choose one thing, so I’ll share my top two. First, having the opportunity to engage in critical conversations with educators about how systemic racism and oppression impacts the work educators do to support students and engage families. Second, capacity building of school leaders and teachers to effectively partner with families to support students to reach their fullest potential.

Person/Place/Thing That Best Exemplifies Me: Driving towards results – Once I set a goal for myself or team, I relentlessly and strategically ensure the goal is met.

Best lesson learned from a mentor or someone I admire: Growing up my youth minster would often tell me, “Excellence honors God and anything less is unacceptable.” This has stayed with me. I commit to bringing my best self to the work I do.

What I do to make lemonade out of lemons on my toughest days: I reground myself in two things. 1) What brings me to the work, every child and family deserves a quality education and the ability to choose and realize their hopes and dreams 2) My belief in the potential of people.

What education equity means to me: Equal access; recognizing the different starting points and barriers that exists for some and doing whatever it takes to remove those barriers and ensure equal opportunities.

My favorite thing to do to relax and rejuvenate: Going to the beach, preferably off the Caribbean coast! It’s something about the calming nature of the water that relaxes and refuels me.

The practices/habits that help keep me grounded and maintain perspective when I’m feeling stressed, overworked, or unmotivated are: Getting in the field and observing the work in action, whether it’s a training or family event taking place at a school.

Who I turn to for advice or guidance when I need career direction: I like to get the perspective of a few different close friends and mentors. I round this guidance out by talking through things with my most trusted confidant, my mom!

The advice I’d give to someone trying to find their career sweet spot: Take full advantage of the many people, experiences and opportunities that are right in front of you. Stay grounded in your values. Recognize your path doesn’t have to look like others, so don’t compare yourself.

Connect with Robert at roberthcrosbyiii@gmail.com.