Walker County meets the White House
by Jennifer Cohron
Jul 27, 2010 | 2027 views | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Gary Crosby II's temporary work address is 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Crosby, a 2005 graduate of Walker High School, is working for President Obama's administration this summer as Alabama's only White House intern.

He is assigned to the Office of Presidential Correspondence, which provides Obama with daily samples of his mail from the American people.

"I have the responsibility of helping to analyze and organize high volumes of correspondence, regarding a wide range of issues such as healthcare reform, foreign policy, climate and energy change, financial reform and offshore drilling," Crosby said.

As an intern, Crosby has opportunities to attend lectures by senior staff members and go on field trips around D.C.

He is volunteering with the Boys and Girls Club this summer as part of a required service project for his internship, and he is learning more about career paths in government through his association with the Legal Professional Development Group.

Crosby was also one of the few interns chosen to mentor high school students as a D.C. Scholar.

The White House Internship program is a public service leadership program. Crosby said he first felt a sense of social responsibility while coordinating community service projects as president of Walker High School's Key Club.

"It was through these leadership and service activities when I observed how much civic affairs and politics affect people's daily lives," Crosby said.

He went on to attend Birmingham-Southern College, where he graduated cum laude and received a bachelor's degree in political science in 2009.

Crosby said he couldn't decide between majoring in history or political science until he signed up for a course called "Talk, Talk, Spin, Spin: Politics, Media, and Political Culture."

The class was taught by Dr. Natalie M. Davis and ABC 33/40 news anchor Pam Huff. Davis, along with professors Bob Slagter and Ed LaMonte, became Crosby's mentors and influenced his decision to become a political science major.

"I'm still not sure if I appeased my professors in the History Department by receiving a minor in history," Crosby said.

While at Birmingham-Southern, Davis received the David J. Vann Award in Political Science, which is given to an outstanding junior political science student who has demonstrated a commitment to public service. He also received recognition in "Who's Who in Black Birmingham" in 2008.

Crosby's paper on Jack Greenberg, one of the attorneys who argued "Brown v. Board of Education" before the Supreme Court, was published in the 2008 edition of "The Compass," a journal for leadership and service.

Crosby said LaMonte's "Civil Rights and Justice" course taught him about the work of NAACP attorneys like Greenberg who crusaded for civil rights.

"I was inspired to look into a career in both politics and the legal profession to continue the fight for equal rights in my state, nation and world," Crosby said.

Crosby's leadership positions as a college student included being state political director of the Alabama College Democrats and Alabama director of Students for Barack Obama.

He served in several roles for the Obama presidential campaign during the primaries and general election.

Crosby said Obama's speech in 2007 at Brown Chapel A.M.E. Church in Selma about the Joshua generation carrying on the work of their ancestors stirred something within him.

"I knew then that I had to join a movement charting a new path for America," he said.

Crosby's future goals include studying abroad and attending law school.

He is the son of Gary and Audrey Crosby of Jasper.