Crystal Searor, 35, is a non-traditional student attending University College at Syracuse University. She is a married mother of 5 children, two of whom are autistic. In the Fall 2014, Crystal took a leave of absence due to her husband becoming critically ill. His disability now has limited Crystal’s ability to work and finance her college education. Despite her family struggles, Crystal was able to maintain a 3.5 GPA in her program of study, Communication Design through the College of Visual and Performing Arts.

“I have chosen to not give up on my dream to receive my BFA in Communication Design through Syracuse University. Rather than looking at these hardships as barriers, I see them as the refining fire, which purifies my character, strengthens my resolve and my determination to excel in school to inspire my children to go after their dreams, no matter how impossible they seem. Though we face financial poverty due to my husband’s continuing debility, I have chosen to face the struggle – no matter how hard – in order to build a brighter future for my entire family. It is my family’s support and belief in me, which propels me forward with tenacity and hope.”

University College is happy to announce that Crystal Searor is a winner of the 2015-2016 NYSFAAA (New York State Financial Aid Administrators’ Association) Scholarship.