Hometown Heroes David and Jennifer Pressgrove gather for a family moment with their children, from left, Jonas, 2, Ryun, 3, and Finley, 8 months. The couple is involved with multiple local organizations, including Bear River Young Life, Rotary Club, high school athletics and The Journey at First Baptist, among others.

Photo by Andy Bockelman

Hometown Heroes David and Jennifer Pressgrove gather for a family moment with their children, from left, Jonas, 2, Ryun, 3, and Finley, 8 months. The couple is involved with multiple local organizations, including Bear River Young Life, Rotary Club, high school athletics and The Journey at First Baptist, among others.

Hometown Heroes: Pressgroves consider Craig kids part of the family

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If you grew up in Craig within the last 10 years, there’s a pretty good chance you crossed paths with David Pressgrove at one point or another. There’s an equally good chance that he and his spouse’s friendly demeanor and commitment to helping others made you glad they were a part of your life.

As the director of Bear River Young Life, David has impacted hundreds of lives within Northwest Colorado, and he and his wife, Jennifer, are still going strong in their community involvement.

David first moved to Craig in 2002, working as a reporter for the Craig Daily Press and hoping to find a way to become a contributing member of his new community. He found what he was looking for after the newspaper ran an article about Young Life, a non-profit organization devoted to providing positive adult role models for adolescents and guiding them as they get older.

“I knew of Young Life from college, so I pulled (former director Scott Smith) aside and told him I’d love to be involved,” David said.

Within the following years, he became a crucial part of the Craig Young Life operation as a volunteer, more and more, as other group members dropped in and out. In 2006, he got married, left the Daily Press and focused more on Young Life.

Two years later, in 2008, David took on the mantle of the group’s full-time director.

“We had to do a lot of fundraising to get to that point, but I wasn’t having to do a lot of odd jobs anymore,” he said. “The rewarding part of my job is being around so many people who care about the community and care about the youth here and want to give however they can.”

The local Young Life program, which also reaches out to youth in Hayden, helps provide kids with camp each summer but also keeps them active throughout the year with multiple activities aimed at building kids' character and spirit. Some projects involve more effort and are more difficult to achieve from a monetary standpoint, but David has seen plenty of “financial miracles.”

“It’s always fun to see how it all comes together,” he said.

David credits his better half, Jennifer, with always being there for him and the crowd of teens and tweens that surrounds him. Kids involved with Young Life drop by the Pressgrove house all the time, which can sometimes be a surprise, but no one is ever unwelcome.

Both he and Jennifer have Midwest roots and families who worked hard to keep their towns a nice place to live.

“Being part of the community is just what was instilled in me growing up, and I think we just try to love people,” Jennifer said.

Outside of Young Life, David and Jennifer are consistently busy, whether it’s with three children of their own under the age of 4 or with other pursuits. The couple, both quick on their feet, is heavily involved with the running sports of Moffat County High School and with church activities at their own place of worship, The Journey at First Baptist, or at other denominations around town.

Among the entries on David’s resumé are membership in the Rotary Club, serving as a chaplain for the Craig Police Department and announcing races for Thunder Ridge Motorsports Park.

“I like that because it’s one thing I can do where I’m not in charge,” David joked. “It’s a way to help without people always looking to me for answers.”

Len Browning, pastor for The Journey and a fellow Rotarian, said he believes the Pressgroves are a great asset to Craig.

“They just genuinely love adolescents and have a lot of compassion for that stage of life,” he said. “Rotary’s motto is ‘Service above self,’ and they certainly exemplify that.”

Andy Bockelman can be reached at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@craigdailypress.com.

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