Crystal Stewart is proud and excited to be named the inaugural Origin Foundation CEF Community Alumni Champion for 2018. After receiving assistance from CEF’s local Torrens Valley Foundation in 2010 to pursue her degree in education, she is now living on Kangaroo Island in South Australia with her husband and Jeddah, their golden retriever. A passionate educator, Crystal has joined CEF’s Kangaroo Island foundation.
Since graduating from Flinders University in 2011, Crystal says, “living in a small community has its challenges, but I absolutely love it. I love the connectedness that I’ve gained from working and socialising in the community.”
She is also very appreciative of the opportunities she has been afforded as a result. She has undertaken additional study, was nominated for an Excellence in Public Education Award, taken on leadership and counselling opportunities and facilitated interstate and overseas experiences for Kangaroo Island students. She encourages all her students to pursue their goals, no matter what they are, and lets them know that anything is achievable if they put their mind to it.
Crystal remembers the encouragement and support she felt when she received her grant from the Torrens Valley local foundation. She now enjoys being a committee member and understands the importance of volunteering. “I believe the most beneficial thing anyone can do in a small community is volunteer their time in a local organisation. The benefits to the community are enormous, and I think volunteering is really beneficial for individual health and wellbeing.”
Crystal is a true champion for community engagement, further education and for CEF. She says, “Past recipients of CEF grants should really consider reconnecting with CEF somehow. I’ve really enjoyed working alongside the dedicated members of the Kangaroo Island Country Education Fund and have gained new insight into what goes into selecting and supporting students to achieve their goals”.