Brooke serves as the Founder and Executive Director for The Refuge for DMST. Her career in nonprofit leadership and management has spanned over 20 years with various large churches and organizations, including: Communications Director at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Charlottesville, VA; Area Director of Young Life in Kerrville, TX; Director at the H.E. Butt Foundation, and Director of Women’s Ministries at The Woodlands United Methodist Church. Brooke lived and worked in Costa Rica for four years working with girls who were trafficked and exploited through sex tourism. During her time in Latin America, Brooke served on the U.S. Board of Directors for Oasis International. Because of her work with trafficked children, Brooke often speaks to community groups, churches, universities, and seminaries on the topic of child sex trafficking.
Brooke received a Masters of Arts in Intercultural Studies and World Mission from Asbury Theological Seminary and holds a B.A. in Communications from Baylor University. She has a Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership and Management from Austin Community College.
Brooke and her husband, Calvin, have 4 children, and are actively involved in the Austin community with several charitable organizations.
Founder & CEO
Brooke Crowder is the Founder and CEO of The Refuge for DMST™. She is also a wife to Calvin, mother to Joe, Austin, Mary Beth and Erin, and friend to many teen survivors of sex trafficking. She has counseled and mentored young women since 2004, when she first learned about child sex trafficking while working on her Master’s degree at Asbury Theological Seminary. There in a chapel pew, Brooke’s heart broke when she saw a video of little girls being rescued from a brothel, and the trajectory of her life changed forever.
Upon graduating from Seminary, Brooke worked for four years in Costa Rica with girls who were exploited by the sex tourism industry. During her time in Latin America, Brooke served on the U.S. Board of Directors for Oasis International. She also travelled to other countries and networked with other organizations around the world to learn best practices and ways to combat the growing crime.
When Brooke realized that this had to be going on in her home country, she returned to the United States in 2010. Back at home, she quickly became dismayed and angry at the lack of services and coordinated efforts to help child survivors.
Local, state and federal communities heard and responded to Brooke’s conviction, which lead to the collaborative relationships needed to build The Refuge Ranch. From inception, Brooke has said, “If everyone did just one thing, the cumulative effect would be powerful.” This mantra took root, and the people of Austin and surrounding communities rallied together to build the largest long-term, live-in rehabilitation facility for child survivors of sex trafficking in the United States when The Refuge Ranch opened its doors in August of 2018.
Because of her work with trafficked children, Brooke often speaks to community groups, churches, universities, and seminaries around the country on the topic of child sex trafficking. She’s published articles on this topic and was recognized as the 2018 Texas Woman of Honor by Alpha Delta Kappa, an International Honorary Organization for Women Educators.
Other than being with her family, her greatest joy is watching girls who were once traumatized by severe victimization, learn to live again and grow into the person and purpose God created.