Crystal Givens is the president and chief executive officer of Starfish Initiative, a leading youth organization in Indianapolis that inspires, encourages, and prepares motivated high school students for success through one-on-one mentoring. Under her direction, Starfish Initiative is becoming a best-in-class mentoring organization that is effective in fulfilling its mission and better prepared to face current and future challenges. Crystal’s transformational initiatives include financial stabilization efforts, modernization of programs, and expanding the reach of Starfish Initiative services.
Crystal is a longtime champion of children and families. She began her career as an early childhood teacher. She then went on to serve in multiple roles at Early Learning Indiana, the state’s oldest and largest early education non-profit, ending as Vice President of Statewide Support after nearly two decades. Crystal’s leadership then expanded to a national level when she took on a role at Child Care Aware® of America. There she led efforts to deliver rapid response to educators, families, and others during the height of the pandemic.
A native of Indianapolis, Crystal is a proud graduate of Indianapolis Public Schools. She earned her bachelor’s degree in child development from Indiana State University and a master’s degree in business administration from Indiana Wesleyan University. Crystal believes in the power of education and is an advocate for lifting others as we climb.
In this fun and insightful episode, Crystal talks about growing up as an Indiana girl, the purpose behind Starfish Initiative, the importance of mentors, how to make a proper PB&J, commitment devices, the power of journaling, having a heart of service, and a moment after receiving her undergraduate degree where she felt an immense amount of responsibility and duty to be a role model for young women of color.