Crystal Vanison-Robinson 2015
Crystal Vanison-Robinson’s 12th grade Government Teacher, Jack Esformes, was prescient in 1996 when he wrote about her, “There is no doubt that she will give back to this community much more than the community could possibly expect”. As Crystal says, “I’ve been doing volunteer work since high school. Growing up in Alexandria people in the community helped me. So, now I have the opportunity to give back and feel proud – like I’m paying it forward.” Crystal is on the Economic Opportunity Commission and active in the Alexandria Chapter of the NAACP as the Education Committee Chair. She volunteers for the Scholarship Fund’s Reading Day and recruits colleagues to volunteer.
Crystal has also tutored youth through Operation Hope and been a board member and positive role model for teen girls at Jireh’s Place, mentoring youth and preparing them for the job world. Crystal took her volunteering spirit to college at Virginia Commonwealth University where she volunteered in elementary and middle school classrooms. Volunteerism and hard work have defined Crystal’s life. Crystal’s mother was a single mother of three, so to help with finances, Crystal began working part time at Sears at Landmark Mall while in high school.
Crystal had always thought of herself as a teacher. After receiving a degree in English from VCU, she returned to T.C. Williams as a substitute teacher. She then taught at John Adams Elementary School before moving on to a private school. For almost ten years Crystal has worked at an organization based in Del Ray, the Association of Government Accountants (AGA) where she is the Certification Program Coordinator. Professionally her career is about accountability, but her main focus is, again, education.
Crystal has been married to Sean Robinson for two years and they have a five month old daughter, Autumn. Living in the City of Alexandria, Crystal feels fortunate to be surrounded by family who support her.
Crystal was the first in her family to attend college and feels grateful for the opportunity to earn a degree with the support of the Scholarship Fund of Alexandria. She received a Departmental Progressive Club Scholarship the first year and General Fund Renewal Scholarships throughout her undergraduate schooling. “Any type of assistance for college is a blessing. You are supporting a student who has goals, and you’re helping them meet their goals.” Crystal says of the scholarship she received from SFA, “The scholarship really helped when I was accepted into VCU. And then I thought it was just going to be for my first year at college, but it was for the full four years. I didn’t know that! That was even better news!”
T.C. Williams Class of 1996
B.A., English, Virginia Commonwealth University, 2004
M.S., Education, Regent University,