Welcome to Business Innovators Magazine…Please introduce yourself and a brief thumbnail sketch of your background:
BC: First of all, Mr. Bradley I would like to thank Business Innovators Magazine for doing this interview, therefore, allowing me to be able to introduce not only myself, but also my company and the vision that I have for what it will be able to accomplish. My name is Brian Cross, and I am currently a senior at Oral Roberts University where I am majoring in Christian Ministries, so that I will be able to help teenagers and young adults that are on the wrong path in life to prevent them from becoming either an inmate# or a statistic. I have been a motivational speaker since October 25, 2012, and I have been endorsed by my peers on the website Linkedin for the following qualities: Community Outreach, Public Speaking, Nonprofits, and also Event Planning over at least 100 times each.
I was also a peer mentor for those individuals whom suffered recent spinal cord injuries for approximately 10 years, regardless, if they were a lower level of injury then the spinal cord injury that I suffered due to the fact that I have an enormous amount of compassion for those who have had to face a horrible tragedy. I would help them to realize that they still live a high quality of life by finding a way to accomplish something from a different point of view by using a little bit of innovation; I have also been endorsed at least 50 times for leadership development, teaching, social media, leadership, and also fundraising.
BI: What would you say is the area in business that you are most passionate about and why?
BC: The area in business that I am most passionate about is Corrections (Juvenile and Young Adult). Although, one might not feel as though Corrections is a business, however, when you can think outside of the box you realize that the following costs of imprisoning an individual for any length of time add up to an enormous amount of money: the salaries of correctional officers, the probation and parole officers salaries, the monitoring bracelets along with the monitoring companies, to name a few of the costs that are all passed onto the taxpayer’s, regardless, of the fact that they do not want to purchase the housing and food for a stranger.
Unfortunately, there is a chronic problem in America today that involves both juveniles and young adults who have become criminal offenders, because they have not been properly taught the difference between what is right or wrong. Once they have become incarcerated for the first time, unfortunately, our correctional facilities have not been able to focus enough money, time, and also enough manpower on truly rehabilitating in particular those that end up being sentenced to serving time in a correctional facility, regardless, of the location which is my main area of focus when I speak with those individuals who are in the correctional facilities.
By most of our correctional facilities treating inmates whether they are juvenile or young adult offenders as being nothing more than a “waste of time,” instead of truly spending the time and money needed to completely rehabilitate these young inmates between 13-24 years of age by educating, counseling, and also by spiritually healing both juvenile and young adult criminal offenders; by using the methods listed above would help to keep first time criminal offenders from becoming repeat offenders.
BI: How are you different than your competitors?
BC: There are several differences between my competitors and myself when it comes to rehabilitating, in particular, juvenile criminal offenders, which help me to get the teenager’s to open up both their hearts and minds allowing for me to be able to get into their frame of mind as well as how they are handling the challenges they face on a daily basis emotionally.
The differences between my competitors and myself are as follows: I am completely paralyzed from the neck down, which allows for the teenager and me’s to look at each other in the eyes when we are talking to each other, since I am confined (imprisoned) in a wheelchair similar to how they are imprisoned in the Juvenile Detention Center; I have a full bodysuit of tattoo’s; the type of clothing that I wear is considered to be Hip-Hop that is similar to the clothing they wear, and finally, the type of hair style that I have is referred to as a “fade.” The differences that are listed above allow me to have a greater impact than that of my competitors because the differences that I possess they give me what is referred to as “instant street credit.”
Therefore, by being able to earn “instant street credit,” which is the form of trust earned by those individuals whom have things in common with the teenagers that have spent a considerable amount of time in the streets such as the following; we have both spent time in a gang, we have both experimented with various street drugs such as marijuana, LSD, and also psychedelic mushrooms, and we also have had sexual relations with the opposite sex.
However, I gave up all of what is listed above when I became paralyzed from the neck down on June 29, 1994, and when I accepted Jesus Christ in June of 1999. By being able to earn a degree from the “School of Hardknocks,” therefore, I gained the ability to be able to make a connection with the teenagers I have had the privilege of speaking with that helped them to feel loved, valued, and also appreciated.
BI: Please tell me about any recent business accomplishments that you are most proud of and why?
BC: Unfortunately, because I have had to deal with illnesses that are part of being paralyzed I recently have only had three business accomplishments, which I can say that I am proud of achieving. First of all, I was able to complete three college courses, so that I was able to finish my junior year and the reason that makes me proud is due to the fact that I am starting my senior year and only have five semesters that are seven weeks long until I will graduate from Oral Roberts University (I am proud that I will be the first person in my immediate family to graduate from college).