2024 National Voices Fellow
Crystal Williams
Network Technician, Verizon Communications

Crystal D. Williams was elected to the Newark Board of Education in 2022, receiving the highest vote count that year among the candidates to serve on the board for New Jersey’s largest school district, responsible for educating 38,000 students. A fierce advocate for parent choice in education, Crystal has been a frequent speaker at the State House, both as part of testimony before the State Board of Education as well as at rallies defending parents’ rights to choose the education they want for their children.

Crystal is a proud and loving mother of 7 and now has 1 grandchild, all of whom were raised and attended schools in Newark. The ability to manage the lives of 7 children while achieving her personal and professional goals demonstrates Crystal’s unwavering faith in God. “I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me” Philippians 4:13. When Crystal thinks about her experience raising her family in Newark as a single parent, she notes, “When having children of my own. I had a plan in place. No longer was life about me it was about us. How would moving benefit us? How would this school benefit us? How would this sport benefit us? Consistently the focus was on my children. Their betterment, their achievement, their growth.”

She has been a dedicated employee of Verizon Communications for over 26 years. As a network technician she is responsible for remote testing of new installation of Ethernet circuits and the maintenance of various circuits throughout the state of New Jersey.

Crystal has been actively involved in the community, serving as a team mom for the Brick City Lions Youth Football Organization in 2019 and 2020, and volunteer assistant coach for La Liga Roberto Clemente for three seasons beginning in 2015. She also served as a mentor at the Essex County Juvenile Detention Center.

Crystal is also active in the Verizon/New Vision Pioneers, a network of employees and retirees of the telecom industry whose mission is to effect change by volunteering in their communities. She served as chair of its education committee from 2016-20.

Crystal was also active in Clearview Baptist Church, serving as a volunteer in the seniors and women ministry. She and her family now attend Metropolitan Baptist Church.

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