In addition to a personality and a smile that light up a room, Crystal brings determination and academic excellence to everything she does. One recommender calls her “hands down the most intellectually curious student I have met in eight years.” She is also persuasive: At the Young Women’s Leadership School of Queens, the maximum number of Advanced Placement courses that seniors are allowed to take is three. She convinced both the principal and assistant principal to let her enroll in four. She was raised by a single mother who worked two jobs to support her. They were crossing a boulevard together on January 19th, 2016, when, Crystal wrote in her essay, “she heroically swung her arms around my body to shield me from an oncoming vehicle traveling 65 miles per hour. There was nothing I could do to save her.” She now lives with her grandparents, both trained in traditional Chinese medicine. Crystal hopes to follow their path, and eventually seek ways to combine Western medical practices with traditional Chinese medicine. Her next steps will take place at Hamilton College.