From Public Housing To Ivy League
Hi! I am Crystal, a full-time Ivy League doctoral student, certified Academic Success Coach, bestselling author, entrepreneur, Army Officer, and Les Brown-trained speaker.
I am the Founder of Crystal Clear Innovation and the KnowThyself apparel store. You can also find me on YouTube, Instagram, and LinkedIn!
My story starts in public housing apartments in rural Alabama, where I was raised with 9 other siblings. After tragically losing my father to cancer when I was 11 years old, my widowed mother did the best she could to provide for us as a single parent.
I owe a great deal of my success and drive to her. Watching my mom successfully provide for her family in a difficult situation reminded me of my own inner strength to create a life that allowed me to live freely.
As a first-generation low-income (FGLI) student, my only means of paying for school was through scholarships. As a high school senior, I received over $670,000 in scholarship awards, including the prestigious Bill & Melinda Gates Millennium Scholarship and Army ROTC merit award.
Using this funding, I’ve spent the last 9 years in school studying to become a behavioral scientist. While completing my final degree at Yale University, I started to get a lot of questions about my journey.
Students who came from disadvantaged situations just like me wanted to know if they could make their dreams a reality as well. My answer was simple, “Of course! It takes the right mindset to accomplish your goals and that can be developed.”
Since starting my e-learning company, Crystal Clear Innovation, I have helped over 400 students successfully navigate through higher education. I started this blog to increase that number because I believe in the power of using my story to help others get ahead.
Through this educational platform, it is my promise to teach you everything I know about academic excellence, finding your purpose in life, overcoming imposter syndrome, building a powerful self-image, and goal achievement!
I am here, not as some guru who has spent a millennium studying and teaching these philosophies, but as a guide. Someone who is still going through the mud with you. In my years of training to become a military officer, we were always taught to never leave a fallen comrade behind. I bring that philosophy into my personal and business life as I continue on this journey towards self-awareness and positive global impact.
The truth is, I am also figuring it out along the way but if there is something I’ve already experienced on my journey that could serve you, then that is more important to me than having all the answers.
Remember, we are in this together. My growth is your growth and vice versa. Will you join me on this journey of self-discovery?
Educate. Inspire. Lead.