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One of 360: Crystal S. '23

By Sandra Santana
Mount Ida is back and buzzing with the return of our incredible school community. As we all begin to settle into our routine, it’s time to learn about the faces who make our spaces special. Our One of 360 series kicks off this month with none other than New York City native, Crystal S. ’23! Hear more from Crystal on her discovery of Emma Willard School, surprise poetry, and taking the stage at APOLLO.
On Home…

I was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, though I attended school in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Both of my parents were also born and raised in Brooklyn, but my mom’s side of the family is from South Carolina, and my dad’s family is Trinidadian. I also have an older brother who is currently a freshman in college. 

On Emma…

I heard about Emma through a program called Oliver Scholars; its goal is to help and guide Black and Latinx students through the independent high school application process and beyond. 
 
When I toured the campus as an eighth grader, I got a good vibe from the school; at the end of my tour, I knew that I would be happy here. 
 
In the beginning of my Emma journey, I was intimidated by the level of diversity at Emma. I had attended schools with the vast majority of the student population being Black and/or Latinx. Being a minority in school [at Emma] was a new experience for me and is not something that I was prepared for; I never prepared for the culture shock I experienced or the day when I would have to educate others on what is and isn’t okay to say. However, being in such a diverse community has exposed me to a multitude of experiences, cultures, and perspectives different from my own. Though I’m from a very diverse city, where I walked by and saw many people with many different backgrounds, it is a completely different experience from the situation that I am in now, where I am constantly working with, talking to, and living with people from all over the world. 
 
The community at Emma is one of its greatest qualities; it is one of the kindest and most inclusive. 
 
On Crocheting and Poetry…

When I was younger, my mom taught me the art of crocheting; I’ve always loved it because of how therapeutic it was for me. This isn’t a new hobby for me, but it is something that I would like to get back into. 
 
I want to make more time for myself to read books for pleasure and not just for class. 
 
Before high school, I despised all things poetry. However, during my sophomore year, I was tasked with writing a speech about a topic I was passionate about, and, surprisingly, that speech naturally took the form of a poem. After reading my speech to the class, my teacher, shocked that I did not write poetry, had encouraged me to. Later on, she told me, “I knew you were a poet”, and that is something I will never forget. 
 
On APOLLO and Revels…

One of my favorite Emma traditions has to be APOLLO. It is an event hosted by BLSU [Black Latinx Student Union], a club that I have been a member of since my freshman year, where people can show off their talents. Last year was the first Apollo where we were served soul food, and it was the closest thing to my mom’s cooking that I have had while on campus. Of the three Apollos I’ve been to so far, I, along with my friend, have performed at two of them with the theme of songs from our childhood shows and movies. 
 
My other favorite Emma tradition is REVELS! I always found it interesting how fast things come full circle; I remember being a freshman at Revels and being so confused about what was going on in the play, but now, I am a senior. I will be the one replying “hmmm, interesting…” after being “revelized”, and in just a few short months, it will be my class performing, which is a very exciting feeling. 

Thanks, Crystal, for sharing your passions and contributing to the Emma Willard School community in unique and significant ways. We look forward to seeing the impact you will have as you continue to serve and shape our world!
    • Gevi S. '23 and Crystal S. '23 all smiles on Opening Day '22!

    • Crystal S. '23 and Bella H. '23 performing at APOLLO 2021

    • A crocheted creation by Crystal S. '23


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