I’m the Founder and Executive Director of Youth Going Above and Beyond.
My name is Dasha Crosby. I am 33 years old and I have a big, beautiful family of 7. My husband and I have been married for 7 years and we have 5 incredible children (yes, I said 5!).
I am the Founder and Executive Director of Youth Going Above and Beyond. An inclusive, nonprofit organization that our community affectionately calls: YGAB (pronounced as an acronym, Y.G.A.B.).
YGAB serves youth aged 12 – 18 years old in the Dallas, Texas area. We exist to inspire our youth to dream big through educational programs that build strong minds, healthy bodies, resilient spirits, and kind hearts. Our vision is to see our youth live bold and bright futures!
“Ain’t I a Woman?”
I am proud to have been born and raised in the great city of Akron, Ohio, where Sojourner Truth delivered her unforgettable speech at a Women’s Convention in 1851 titled, “Ain’t I a Woman?”. During her speech, she fearlessly, demanded respect for Black women and said all women can “turn the world right-side up again”.
Now, I would not be a true Akronite if I did not mention our most recent hometown hero, Lebron James, who said, “In Northeast Ohio, nothing is given. Everything is earned. You work for what you have.” It is that very hometown spirit, rooted in the spirit of Sojourner Truth that has pushed me through out my life and is the drive behind my vision to begin my nonprofit organization.
I had to defer my dreams
Growing up, I wanted to be a Pediatrician. It was always apparent to me that I wanted to help kids. I assumed that being a Pediatrician was the only way to do so. Well, a Higher Being had a different path for my passion. I graduated high school at 16 years old and went off to college. I had my first child at 18 years old and while some would say, I had to defer my dreams, I say that each of my children helped birth my dreams.
After the birth of my first child, I was a sophomore in college and desperately wanted to finish my degree. I came across a fantastic, nonprofit organization that connected me with great people and tons of affordable resources. I went on to earn my Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and much of my success was due to the support of nonprofit organizations, and the support of my husband, family, and friends. At the age of 22 years old, I wrote down the name YGAB and asked God to help me build a nonprofit that was as impactful as the nonprofits that helped me fulfill my dreams and reach my full potential!
I could not afford to launch a nonprofit
After college, I could not afford to launch a nonprofit so I continued my career in Financial Services. While that career path has helped build a great life for our family, I could not fight the feeling that I was still being pulled to work with kids. I had to make a decision. So, while working full time, I launched YGAB with the help of great friends, an incredible family, and a supportive community who was ready to be served!
At YGAB, we want our kids to know if you work hard, anything is possible, no matter what type of situation you are in and no matter your race, ethnicity, gender, background, religion, sexual orientation, or social class. Our first program, called Dream Big Dreams, partners closely with our local teen homeless shelter. We recently hosted an event that helped residents build their very own vision board. We encourage them to rise above their circumstances and exceed expectations. Dream Big Dreams also hosts events with local youth sports teams. No matter what sport, we design vision board templates that help student athletes define their goals and live their dreams.
Hear Her Roar, is for our powerful young ladies
Our second program, Hear Her Roar, is for our powerful young ladies! This program was built to help girls aged 15 – 18 years old find their voice in a male dominated world. We are super excited to begin a series of workshops called, Selfie Time! These workshops will focus on self-care, self-love, self-worth, and self-confidence. Our agendas are packed with interactive activities that help our young ladies unleash their greatness. We end every event with our mantra: our YGAB host says, “I am Woman” and the young ladies reply, “Hear Me Roar!” My mother, who makes me say this as an adult woman, inspired this mantra!
Our YGAB Directors are working hard to expand our reach this year! Our LGBTQ youth are incredibly underserved, but we are hoping to change that with programs that give these strong young people a platform and safe space to live out loud. We are also beginning to partner closely with community leaders to end the school-to-prison pipeline. I am incredibly passionate about ending this in my own community. It hurts to see our young people affected by a broken judicial system and their lives impacted in such an unfair way. As an activist in this area, I also speak out about how mass incarceration has impacted Black families in a harsh way and highly recommend Michelle Alexander’s book, “The New Jim Crow”. I strongly believe we have to do better and our country has to do better. I am committed to helping change laws and legislation to ensure we evolve!
What motivates me?
I am motivated by my children’s beautiful, bright smiles every day. Everything I do is for them. We still have a long ways to go, but have already come SO FAR. This is a great time to be alive and I want to do everything in my power to make my kids’ futures even better.
I am also motivated by all the incredible women who are living boldly and speaking up to start movements that are heard across the world! Women are leading a revolution and it makes me so proud! Every time I read an article, watch a news clip, or scroll through my timelines to see another woman starting her own business, living her dreams, and bringing other women up with her, it gives me such a powerful sense of strength and determination.
My spirituality empowers and equips me to fight every day.
The book of Proverbs speaks a lot on wisdom and refers to wisdom as “she”. While this is a translation of the Bible’s original text in Hebrew, I strongly believe that wisdom was referred to as a feminine spirit for a divine purpose and wisdom will always begin with us. It is our responsibility, as women, to birth and nurture wisdom through out the world.
I am driven by a quote by Dr. Angela Davis, former political prisoner, feminist, prison abolitionist, scholar, and activist: “I’m no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I’m changing the things I cannot accept.”
Thank you, and please remember to always empower and uplift the next generation.
Our future is in their hands!