The words of authority figures can have lasting impact in the life of a child. When those words are negative, the damaging effects can take years to get over. As a young girl, Crystal was labeled as a behavior problem at school, and nicknamed “Crystal Pistol” by her principal. Even now, as an education professional with a Ph.D, those negative words from elementary school adults still matter. Hear Crystal’s story and her mission to tell educators about the importance of “critically supportive leadership.” Crystal is a lifelong educator that has served as teacher, administrator, principal and education consultant. She graduated Cum Laude, from Alabama State University where she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education. Crystal earned her master’s degree in educational leadership from University of Dayton, and her Ph.D. in Leadership, Curriculum, and Culture from Miami University. In 2016, she created Black Girl Leadership, an organization to build character and self-image, and create scholarships and professional connections to support women and girls. Crystal is a mother, grandmother, daughter, and devoted friend. She believes "I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me!" This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at