She has always had an interest in youth development and education, and has enjoyed the challenges and successes of working with young people. She was born and raised in Miamisburg, a suburb of Dayton, Ohio, and completed her undergrad Eastern Kentucky University with a degree in history, a love for the Appalachian region, and a plan to return someday once she'd seen a little more of the world. She has lived in Chicago for a little over two years, and is due to complete a Master's degree in International Studies from DePaul University whenever she finally finishes a thesis on Kentucky identity politics and economic development. She plans to return to eastern Kentucky in the fall and seek out a job in this field.
Crystal remains a history nerd, and loves learning about other cultures through reading and travel. In that vein, she someday hopes to facilitate both domestic and international exchange programs for high school and college students so that young people may have an affordable path to experiencing other cultures in their own country and around the world. Her hobbies include swimming, reading, and trying (and usually failing) to garden.