Crystal Techner spent four years in foster care before she was adopted along with her three younger sisters. Because she was the oldest, Crystal made it her job to be there for her sisters every step of their journey through foster care. “Even in the worst of times when we had nothing, my sisters and I always had each other,” Crystal recalls. Now that she is an adult, Crystal is dedicating her life to helping other youth in foster care. Crystal is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Immaculata University.
She writes, “I am on the other side of the table now, learning and absorbing all the information I can about being a social worker and serving as a voice for foster and adopted youth.” She draws on her own experiences in foster care to make suggestions that would improve the system. “I can help foster youth because I was one,” Crystal says. “We need each other. It is a great feeling to know that you are not alone.” Although she is still a student, Crystal is well on her way to achieving her goals.
She is employed by Chester County Department of Children Youth and Families where she provides post adoption services and leads support groups for boys ages 5-13. “Crystal has demonstrated a profound understanding of the issues and challenges that foster children face,” Crystal’s supervisor comments. “She has empathy for both the parents and the children involved in the child welfare system.
She demonstrates a maturity beyond her age in finding resolution and acceptance of her own history.” Next semester Crystal will start providing counseling to adopted children. One of her tasks is to help the children to create “life books.” Crystal is involved in her college-community as a Resident Assistant. In her spare time she enjoys going out with friends and spending time with her family.
Crystal is recently engaged and describes herself as being very family oriented. Crystal notes, “I go home as often as possible…my sisters are my best friends and we are as close as you can get.” Crystal also enjoys writing and is considering writing a book based on her experiences. That is definitely a book I want to read!